Author: Umembamalu Chinedu Josiah
Department: Chemical Engineering
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

Production of fiberboard from treated banana peduncle fiber via dry process was carried out using Urea Formaldehyde (UF) resin. The banana peduncle fibres were extracted by open air rating and further treated by silane and mercerization. The effects of process parameters (UF resin content, particle size, press time, press pressure, press temperature) were examined on the physical (Density, Water Absorption (WA) and Thickness Swelling (TS)) and mechanical (Modulus of Rupture (MOR), Modulus of Elasticity (MOE) and Internal Bond (IB)) properties in accordance to American Standard Test Method (ASTM). Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to optimize the conditions for maximum production of fiberboard from banana peduncle suitable for interior purpose using low Urea Formaldehyde (UF) resin to achieve reduction in Formaldehyde emission. The process factors and their levels chosen for particle size of 0.85mm were UF resin content 10 – 12%, Press time 5 – 7.5 Minutes, Press Temperature 140 – 1600C and Press pressure of 8 – 14Mpa which satisfied M type fiberboard at target density of 650Kg/m3. The silane treatment after characterization gave tensile strength of 78.03 MPa and hemicelluloses content of 36%.The optimum process conditions shows resin content of 6.6%, press temperature of 169.080C, press time of 9.85minutes and press pressure of 9.99Mpa as the best condition for banana board production and the optimum values obtained as Modulus Of Rupture (MOR) of 12.19 MPa, Modulus of Elasticity (MOE) of 2.220Gpa, Internal Bonding (IB) of 0.466Mpa and Water Absorption (WA) of 45.57. The result from the optimization met ASTM requirement for M- grade fiberboard. It was possible to produce dry process fiberboards from Banana peduncle that meet the ASTM standards for fiberboards for internal use.

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