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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

Journal of Wood Science Cover Image
  • Original Article
  • Open Access

Compositional and structural characteristics of residual biomass from tropical plantations

  • 1,
  • 1, 2,
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  • 3 and
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Journal of Wood ScienceOfficial Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society199844:BF00521873

  • Received: 24 February 1997
  • Accepted: 25 August 1997
  • Published:


Many products and abundant wastes from tropical plantations, such as latex, palm oil, and coconut production due to replantation, are waiting effective utilization. Nonutilized tropical biomass — oil palm (Elaeis guneensis Jacq.), coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) coir dust and coir fiber, and rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) wood — were analyzed for chemical and structural characteristics of wall polysaccharides and lignin. Coconut coir dust is mostly composed of middle lamella and is separated from coir fiber, which is composed of secondary walls. These were supported by lignin content, and structural characteristics of wall polysaccharides and lignin. The chemical and spectroscopic characteristics of walls of rubber xylem were similar to those of typical temperate angiosperm woods. Oil palm frond was significantly rich in arabinoxylan, and numerous acetyl groups were substituted to the arabinoxylan. Lignin of oil palm frond and wall polysaccharides of coconut coir dust are substituted with hydroxybenzoic acids with ester and ether linkages. Some p-hydroxybenzoic acid substituted to the wall polymers of coconut coir dust would contribute to the formation of associations between polysaccharides and lignin. Based on the above results it is suggested that coconut coir fiber and rubber wood are suitable resources for chemical pulp production for paper-making, but oil palm frond is not.

Key words

  • Oil palm frond
  • Coconut coir
  • Rubber wood
  • Biomass utilization
  • Lignin and polysaccharides