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Journal Of Oil Palm Research

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VOLUME 15 NO.2 - Dec. 2003

PHYSIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF AN OIL PALM DENSITY TRIAL ON A PEAT SOIL

IAN E HENSON and MOHD TAYEB DOLMAT

A detailed physiological analysis was made of an oil palm density x fertilizer experiment established on a deep peat soil near Teluk Intan, Perak. Data on above-ground vegetative dry matter production, leaf area and leaf area development, flowering, bunch dry matter production and bunch composition were collected from the time of first flowering up to the 17th year after planting. Three planting densities (120, 160 and 200 palms ha-1) were combined with 18 factorial fertilizer treatments. From data on leaf area, vegetative, bunch and total dry matter production, it was possible to derive the efficiency of radiant energy conversion to dry matter and the partitioning of dry matter between vegetative and reproductive biomass as well as between oil and non-oil components of dry matter. The influence of planting density on the extent of biomass turnover was assessed. Optimum densities for bunch yield were calculated as a function of age from single palm yield response to density. The proportions of assimilated carbon used for dry matter production, growth respiration and maintenance respiration were also calculated. Maintenance respiration per unit biomass is seen to decrease as a function of increasing palm age and density. The evaluated dry matter production and gross assimilation were compared with outputs from a simulation model.
The results are discussed and compared with those of other studies in the literature.

PSTRUCTURAL, MECHANICAL AND OPTICAL PROPERTIES OF RECYCLED PAPER BLENDED WITH OIL PALM EMPTY FRUIT BUNCH PULP

RUSHDAN IBRAHIM

The effects of blending oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) pulp with recycled papers on the paper properties were studied. The EFB was pulped by the soda-anthraquinone process. Laboratory papers were made by blending the unbleached EFB pulp with old carton board (OCB), copier paper (OCP) and newspaper (ONP) at ratios of 25%, 50% and 75%. The structural, mechanical and optical properties of these papers were measured and compared to unblended recycled papers. The paper properties were considerably affected by incorporation of the EFB pulp. The changes on the properties varied, depending on the particular property, level of pulp incorporation and the type of recycled paper used. ONP has the highest degree of change and OCB has the lowest degree of change. OCB, OCP and ONP have the highest tensile index when incorporated 25%, 75% and 75% of EFB pulp respectively. OCB, OCP and ONP have the highest burst index when incorporated 75% of EFB pulp. OCB, OCP and ONP have the highest tear index when incorporated 25%, 75% and 25% of EFB pulp respectively. OCB, OCP and ONP have the highest folding endurance when incorporated 75% of EFB pulp respectively. The best blend for OCB is 25% of EFB pulp and for OCP and ONP is 75% of EFB pulp. The EFB soda-AQ pulp can be used to enhance the structural and mechanical properties of recycled paper.

DEVELOPMENT OF OPTIMUM SYNTHESIS METHOD FOR TRANSESTERIFICATION OF PALM OIL METHYL ESTERS AND TRIMETHYLOLPROPANE TO ENVIRONMENTALLY ACCEPTABLE PALM OIL-BASED LUBRICANT

ROBIAH YUNUS ; A FAKHRU'L-RAZI; OOI, T L; IYUKE, S E and A IDRIS

Chemical synthesis of palm oil trimethylolpropane esters was conducted via transesterification of palm oil methyl esters (POME) with trimethylolpropane (TMP). The palm oil TMP esters are potential biodegradable base stock for lubricant production. The influence of the main operating variables, namely, temperatures and pressures, molar ratio of palm methyl esters to TMP, and catalyst amount was studied and analysed. The effects of temperature (80oC to 140oC) and reduced pressure (0.1, 10, 50, 100 and 500 mbar) were investigated and found to have a significant impact on the reaction. On the contrary, the amount of catalyst (% w/w) and molar ratio of POME to TMP had little influence on the conversion but affected the overall yield of the reaction. The optimal reaction conditions are as follows: duration: 1 hr; temperature: 130°C; pressure: 20 mbar; catalyst: sodium methoxide at 0.8% w/w; molar ratio of POME:TMP at 3.9:1. Palm oil TMP ester containing 98% w/w triesters was successfully synthesized in less than an hour.

PREPARATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF TRIMETHYLOLPROPANE ESTERS FROM PALM KERNEL OIL METHYL ESTERS

ROBIAH YUNUS ; A FAKHRU'L-RAZI; OOI, T L; IYUKE, S E and A IDRIS

Palm-based polyol esters are potential biodegradable base stocks for environmentally friendly lubricants. The synthesis of palm kernel oil trimethylolpropane (TMP) esters was performed by transesterification of palm kernel methyl esters with TMP using sodium methoxide as a catalyst. Approximately 98% w/w conversion to palm kernel TMP triesters was obtained. Temperature and vacuum pressure were found to be the key parameters because of their effects on the rate and reversibility of the reaction. A reduced pressure of at least 20 mbar was crucial for high product yield at which the optimal operating temperature was 130oC. The basic lubrication properties of the non-additived palm and palm kernel TMP esters were the following: viscosity at 40oC in the range of 39.7 to 49.7 cSt, pour point between -1 oC to 1oC and high viscosity indices in the range of 167-187. Other chemical and lubrication properties compared well with the commercial vegetable oils based TMP esters.

FORMATION OF MICROEMULSIONS WITH PALM-BASED OILS STABILIZED BY A NON-IONIC SURFACTANT

RAMAN, I A B; SUHAIMI, H and TIDDY, G J T

There is growing interest to replace petroleum-based ingredients in products with natural-based materials such as palm oil and its derivatives. One of the potential uses of these natural materials is in microemulsion formulations. This paper describes the solubilization and ternary phase behaviour of palm oil and its derivatives with a non-ionic surfactant - coco alcohol (C12-14) ethoxylate with 6.9 moles of ethylene oxides (6.9EO)(also called Imbentin coco 6.9EO).

The capacity of solubilization by Imbentin coco 6.9EO for palm oil methyl esters (POME) " tetradecane > palm kernel oil-medium chain triglycerides (PKO-MCT) and palm olein . The phase inversion temperatures (PIT) for POME, PKO-MCT and palm olein were 59oC, 70oC and 71oC at 2:1, 1:1 and 0.5:1 ratios of oil to surfactant. The PIT for tetradecane, a petroleum-based oil, was 56oC at 1:1 oil to surfactant ratio, but ~73oC at a 2:1 ratio.
The capacities for solubilization and formation of a larger microemulsion region with POME were higher than those with PKO-MCT and palm olein in Imbentin coco 6.9EO systems. The maximum solubilities of POME and PKO-MCT were 2:1 and 1:1 oil to surfactant, both at 60oC, and palm olein 0.5:1 oil to surfactant at 70oC. We indicate that the POME molecules penetrate the liquid crystalline (LC) phase into the palisade layer. They then expand the LC (La) region and move to the water-rich axis. However, the micellar solution and/or O/W microemulsion can exist at up to 45% (w/w) surfactant at the lower concentrations of PKO-MCT and palm olein in the ternary systems.

DEVELOPMENT OF A TRANSIENT PROMOTER ASSAY SYSTEM FOR OIL PALM

ZUBAIDAH RAMLI and SITI NOR AKMAR ABDULLAH

Optimization of the physical parameters was carried out to produce transient b-glucuronidase (GUS) and green fluorescence protein (GFP) activities in oil palm tissues (leaf, mesocarp and root) for promoter analysis.

The optimum conditions for DNA delivery into mesocarp slices and root tissue were 1550 psi helium pressure, 9 cm distance from macrocarrier to the sample and using 1 µm gold particles as microcarrier to penetrate the tissues. For leaf explants, a lower pressure of 1350 psi sufficed with the same size gold particles and distance. The specificity of the Type 3 metallothionine-like gene (MT3-B) promoter was determined using the optimized system developed. The MT3-B promoter was cloned into an expression cassette (pBI221) containing GUS as the reporter gene with the removal of the existing Cauliflower Mosaic Virus (CaMV) 35S promoter to form a pBI-4C vector. The original pBI221 plasmid containing the CaMV 35S promoter was used as a control. In our study, expression of the MT3-B promoter was only observed in the root tissue at a low level but not in the other tissues (mesocarp and leaf). In contrast, with the constitutive promoter (CaMV 35S), expression was observed in all the tissues tested. These results correlated with the expression profile obtained for the MT3-B gene using northern blot analysis.

VOLUME 15 NO.1 - June 2003

RECOVERY OF GLYCEROL AND DIGLYCEROL FROM GLYCEROL PITCH

HAZIMAH, A H; OOI, T L and SALMIAH, A

Glycerol pitch is one of the wastes generated by the Malaysian oleochemicals industry. A recovery technique which involved an acid-based extraction was developed in which the pitch was separated into three components - crude glycerol containing diglycerol, fatty acids and inorganic salts. The crude glycerol was subjected to vacuum distillation to produce pure glycerol, leaving behind an undistilled fraction rich in diglycerol. Several analyses, such as glycerol content, ash content, moisture content and acidity, and Fourier transform infra red (FTIR) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) were employed to determine the purity and the compositions of glycerol pitch and the products thus isolated from the waste. The analyses showed that the glycerol pitch comprised 55%-65% glycerol, 15%-25% diglycerol, and less than 10% each of fatty acids and inorganic salts. The method developed is simple and suitable for the recovery of glycerol and diglycerol in the waste.

PALM-BASED CHIRAL COMPOUNDS

LOH, S K and CHOO, Y M

Palm-based chiral compounds are of potential value although they are either taken for granted or largely ignored. This paper reports on the chirality features and optical activities of readily available palm-based chiral compounds such as asymmetrical acylglycerols, phospholipids, tocols, carotenoids and sterols.

PRELIMINARY ATTEMPTS AT THE CONSTRUCTION OF LARGE INSERT DNA LIBRARIES FOR OIL PALM (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.)

RAJINDER SINGH; PHILIP A LESSARD; TAN SOON GUAN; JOTHI M PANANDAM; ANTHONY SINSKEY and CHEAH SUAN CHOO

Oil palm is one of the most important oil bearing crops, being by far the highest oil yielder per unit land area in the world. In order to facilitate oil palm genome analysis leading to physical mapping, identification of molecular markers associated with quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and map-based cloning, we attempted to develop the tools and techniques needed to construct a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library for oil palm. A suitable method to purify and prepare the single copy vector (pBeloBAC11) for BAC transformation was established. The proper partial digestion conditions for oil palm megabase DNA for BAC library construction were also determined. Several BAC clones were successfully identified. Hybridization of these BAC clones with oil palm DNA as probe confirmed the presence of oil palm DNA in those clones.

PERFORMANCES OF SOME PISIFERAS OF BINGA, EKONA, URT AND ANGOLAN ORIGINS: PART 1 - BREEDING BACKGROUND AND FRUIT BUNCH TRAITS

LIM, C C; TEO, K W; RAO, V and CHIA, C C

The Unilever-Harrisons & Crosfield's Combined Breeding Programme-Part 13 (CBP13) was a progeny testing of pisiferas from Binga (Congo), Ekona (Cameroon) and URT (Malaysia). The pisiferas were tested in dura x pisifera (DxP) crosses with selected Deli and African x Deli duras. The three pisifera populations had been developed independently and under different conditions. The Binga programme focussed on high yield in an environment endemic with Fusarium wilt, selection at Ekona emphasised high bunch oil content, especially from oil/mesocarp, and Hulu Remis were developed from Deli dura x African pisiferas. The widely used Algemeene Vereniging van Rubber Planters ter Oostkust can Sumatra (AVROS) pisiferas, first developed in Sumatra, were also included as Deli x AVROS pisifera link crosses. The Angolan origin was represented by only one pisifera.

The DxP progenies of AVROS and Ekona gave the highest bunch oil content. In AVROS, the superiority was obtained from more fruit/bunch and mesocarp/fruit whereas in Ekona, it was better oil/mesocarp. The DxP of Binga and URT pisiferas were poorer in bunch oil content because of lower mesocarp/fruit and less oil/ mesocarp. The DxP of both the latter, especially some of the URT pisiferas, gave more kernel/bunch, while those of Binga PKg111 pisiferas had more fruit/bunch. Binga pisiferas were more variable for DxP bunch traits than AVROS and Ekona.

Among the dura female parents, Deli had a higher DxP bunch oil content than those of African or African x Deli duras, the better value obtained from more fruit/bunch and mesocarp/fruit. The fruits were also larger. The DxP of African duras and African x Deli duras, especially of the former, had more oil/mesocarp and correspondingly less moisture and fibre. The large variation in mesocarp fibre in both the dura and pisifera populations suggests breeding for an optimal value based on maximum oil expression with the current milling technology. Inter-crossing Deli and African duras and among pisiferas of different origins should generate trait combinations for higher bunch oil content than that of the currently widely used Deli x AVROS.

DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF A PROTOTYPE TRAILED TYPE OIL PALM SEEDLING TRANSPLANTER

DARIUS EL PEBRIAN AND AZMI YAHYA

A prototype trailed type transplanter for oil palm seedlings with a configuration consisting of the main chassis, seedling bin, seedling planting assembly, operator compartment, and associated hydraulic system has been designed and developed at the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Malaysia. AutoCAD 2000 software was employed to develop the 3D dimensional model of the prototype machine. The transplanter is to be trailed from a 4-wheel tractor having at least 85 hp (63.4 kW) engine size and equipped with a seedling bin that could accommodate 20 oil palm seedlings per operating trip. Two operators are required in the involved transplanting operation; a driver for the tractor and an operator for transplanter. The driver drives the tractor-transplanter combination in the field, while the operator operates the hydraulic control system of the transplanter to integrate the preparations of planting hole, placement of seedling in the prepared hole, covering of the seedling in the prepared hole, and compacting of the soil around the planted seedling.

PRELIMINARY FIELD AND COST EVALUATIONS OF A PROTOTYPE OIL PALM SEEDLING TRANSPLANTER

DARIUS EL PEBRIAN AND AZMI YAHYA

Mechanized field transplanting of oil palm seedling with the trailed type transplanter resulted with a planting capacity of 99 seedlings/man-day or 0.62 ha man-day-1 as compared to 0.28 ha man-day-1 or 45 seedling man-day-1 with the manual transplanting planting system; an improvement of 2.2 times. The quality of planting with the mechanized transplanting system indicated insignificant variations in leaning angles, spacing, row alignment, pulling forces and height increment among planted seedlings. Almost 99.45% of the total seedlings planted by the transplanter were categorized under upright palms. The average spacing between adjacent planted seedlings was 8.56 m and exceeded only by 0.06±0.02 m from the proposed distance, whereas row alignment of planted seedlings variations was 1.78±0.33 cm along planting lines in each row. The soil around the planted seedling was almost uniformly compacted with an averaged pulling force of 347.39±20.27 N per planted seedling. The entire seedlings were successfully planted in the field by the transplanter with averaged palms height increment of 18.6±2.45 cm after the first month of planting and 22.5±3.34 cm after the second month of planting. The estimated planting cost is RM 2.11 per seedling with mechanized transplanting as compared to RM 2.26 with manual transplanting; a reduction of 6.64%.

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