The Effect of Glycerol and Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunches Microcrystalline Cellulose Loading on Tensile Properties and Water Absorption of Cassava Starch Composite
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The development and the utilization of starch as a packaging material which is eco-friendly, renewable and biodegradable have increased in recent years. In this study, cassava starch was modified into composites by adding glycerol as plasticizer and oil palm empty fruit bunches (OPEFB) microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) as fillers. The MCC was prepared via the pulping process of OPEFB and acid hydrolysis. The composites were cast into films by varying glycerol and MCC compositions. The effect of glycerol and OPEFBMCC loading on tensile properties and water absorption of composite was investigated. The results showed that MCC content at 10% created denser composite surface and enhanced the interfacial adhesion which led the tensile strength to increase but the elongation at break decreased. The filler loading also reduced the diffusion of water molecules and water absorption. However, the addition of glycerol in cassava starch composite to any MCC composition lowered the tensile strength but increased the water absorption. SEM images revealed that the addition of MCC in composite constructed the linkages among starch, glycerol, and MCC.