Mixed matrix membranes (MMM's) comprising cellulose acetate (CA) polymers with nano-activated carbon (nAC) were prepared and derived from Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunches (OP-EFB) biowaste. At first, nAC's were prepared using carbonization- activation process, with pyrolysis temperatures applied at 300, 400, and 500°C, respectively. Furthermore, 100 kg/m3 ZnCl2 solution were added for the activation process before sonicated at 28 kHz for 45 minutes. The adsorption performances were tested by using iodine value. The nAC prepared under carbonization temperature of 500°C, showed the best properties, i.e. 3.67% water content, 7.68% ash content, 22.87% volatile substances, 69.45% pure activated carbon levels and iodine value of 1000.35 mg/g, therefore selected and embedded into polymeric membrane matrices. In order to produce membranes matrix, cellulose was extracted from OP-EFB by 5-steps processes, i.e. preparation, hydrolysis, delignification, pulping and bleaching to obtaine α- cellulose. The extracted α-cellulose then activated, acetelized, hydrolyzed, sedimented and dryed to produce cellulose acetatate (CA) polymers. Then, the CA matrixes filled with different ratios of CA:nAC, i.e. (4:1), (4:3), (4:5), to prepare mixed matrix membranes. The MMM's were then tested to adsorp CO, CO2 and hydrocarbons produced by motorcycle combustion process. The highest pollutant removal was 16.12% and 11.77%, for CO and CO2 , respectively, while the highest HC removal was 15.23%. The biowaste-based MMM's were proven to decrease motorcycle exhaust gases from the testing chamber, comply with SNI (Indonesian National Standard) and contributed to environmental recovery.
Keywords: activated carbon; mixed matrix membrane; cellulose acetate; oil palm empty fruit bunches; vehicle exhaust gases; novel carbon resource sciences