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Production of Formic Acid from Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch via Dilute Acid Hydrolysis by Response Surface Methodology
Andre Fahriz Perdana Harahap, Azhar Aditya Rahman, Isni Nur Sadrina, Misri Gozan*

Universitas Indonesia


Formic acid is the simplest carboxylic acid which has myriad applications in food, textiles, agriculture, pharmaceutics, and chemicals. Formic acid can be synthesized in laboratory as major by-product from hydrolysis process of lignocellulosic biomass. Oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) is an abundant lignocellulosic biomass produced by oil palm industries to which the cellulose content has potential for conversion into formic acid by dilute acid hydrolysis. In this study, we investigated effects of three parameters in acid-catalysed hydrolysis reaction of OPEFB such as reaction time (20, 40, 60 minutes), temperature (140, 160, 180 °C), and H2SO4 concentration (0.3; 0.5; 0.7 M) and optimized them to obtain maximum formic acid concentration by using response surface methodology with Box-Behnken Design (BBD). Microwave assisted alkaline pretreatment of OPEFB sample under microwave radiation at 840 Watt for 9 minutes with 2% NaOH concentration was done prior to the hydrolysis process. The pretreatment was effective to reduce lignin content of OPEFB from 28.9% to 7.6%. The highest actual formic acid concentration we obtained from the experiment was 2725 ppm at 180 °C, 60 minutes reaction time, and 0,5 M H2SO4. While according to the polynomial model, the optimal condition for obtaining maximum formic acid concentration of 2890.673 ppm was at 180 °C, reaction time of 60 minutes, and 0.3 M H2SO4.

Keywords: formic acid, hydrolysis, oil palm empty fruit bunch, response surface methodology

Topic: Chemical Engineering


Conference: Broad Exposure on Science and Technology (BEST 2019)

Plain Format | Corresponding Author (Andre Fahriz Perdana Harahap)

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