VOLUME 40 (Issue 1), March 2019


Mechanical Performance of Acetate Lacquer from Acacia mangium
-Melissa Sharmah Gilbert Jesuet, Ismawati Palle & Liew Kang Chiang

Physico-Chemical Properties, Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Carbon Stock in Peat Soil used for Turmeric Cultivation at Kuala Langat Selatan, Selangor, MALAYSIA
- Wan Mohd. Razi, I, A.R. Sahibin, L. Tukimat,  A.R. Zulfahmi, M. S. Mohd. Nizam, T. Fredolin  & T. C. Teng

Solar Car: Brief Review And Challenges
Ag Sufiyan Abd Hamid and Halim Razali

Performance Of Kapok Fiber Reinforced Polyvinyl Alcohol Bicomposite By Alkali Treated
Muhammad Danial Jamat, Jahimin Asik

Formulation Of Polymeric Inhibitor For Viscosity Reduction Of Crude Oil
S. M. Anisuzzamana, M. Rajin, D. Krishnaiah, E. Junny

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Mechanical Performance of Acetate Lacquer from Acacia mangium

Melissa Sharmah Gilbert Jesuet, Ismawati Palle & Liew Kang Chiang

Wood Technology and Industry Program,
Faculty of Science and Natural Resources (Forestry Complex),
Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Jalan UMS, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia


Cellulose comprise of about 40–50 % of the composition of wood, making it one of the most abundant organic polymers on earth. Cellulose is very versatile in terms of application, with a wide array of products fabricated, including the chemically modified cellulose derivatives. One of the more prominent and multifaceted derivatives is the cellulose acetate, in which have been used predominantly as cigarette filters, membrane filters, and coating. In this study, the intermediate product, Acacia mangium-produced cellulose acetate was modified into lacquer to produce a feasible wood coating product. The lacquer underwent a series of tests such as impact, abrasion, adhesion, and hardness to evaluate its mechanical performance. The results of the coating were compared to a similarly formulated acetate lacquer that was produced using commercial cellulose acetate instead as a control. Based on the result, it is shown that Acacia mangium-produced cellulose acetate lacquer shows a better impact resistance with a rating of 4 as opposed to the commercial cellulose acetate with a rating of 3 with moderate cracking, with an approximate 6% better abrasion resistance and higher hardness rating class. Meanwhile, the commercial cellulose acetate lacquer presents a better adhesion performance with only 5% flaking compared to the 15% flaking of Acacia mangium-produced cellulose acetate lacquer. The Acacia mangium-produced cellulose acetate lacquer indicates a novel benefit from the presence of impurities from the intermediate Acacia mangium-produced cellulose acetate product such as the plasticizing hemicellulose acetate, as well as the hydrophobic lignin.

Keywords: Cellulose acetate, lacquer, wood coating, mechanical properties


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Physico-Chemical Properties, Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Carbon Stock in Peat Soil used for Turmeric Cultivation at Kuala Langat Selatan, Selangor, MALAYSIA

1Environmental Science Program, Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Jalan UMS, 88400, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
2Center for Earth Sciences and Environment, Faculty of Science and Technology, UKM 43600 Bangi, Selangor
3Climate Change Institute, UKM, 43600 Bangi, Selangor

*Corresponding author: sahibin@ums.edu.my




Measurement of carbon dioxide emissions in peat soil was done in a turmeric cultivation area on August 2009 and January 2010 at Kampung Tumbuk Darat, Kuala Langat Selatan, Selangor. The objective of this research was to determine the quantity of CO2 emissions from peat soil as well as the carbon stock that is stored in the peat soil. Other parameters that were investigated included soil pH, soil temperature, soil bulk density, soil organic carbon, soil fresh water content, organic matter, humic acid and fulvic acid content. A total of 30 carbon dioxide emission sampling points in rectangular grid arrangement was prepared in a survey plot of 1 hectare. The survey plot was further divided into sub-plots of size 20 m x 25 m. Soil samples were randomly taken at the depth of 0-15 cm to 50-65 cm using an auger. Sampling of CO2 emissions was done using the static alkali absorption method (Kirita Method). The organic carbon content was determined using the Walkley-Black method, while the humic and fulvic acid content was determined using the basic molecule isolation method. Other soil properties were determined using standard methods of determination. The surface temperature of peat soil was between 28oC and 30oC. The bulk density of the area was as low as 0.20 g cm-3. On the other hand, the soil fresh water content, soil organic matter, and peat soil humic acid was very high. The minimum quantity of CO2 emissions in the peat soil on August 2009 and January 2010 was 40.92±21.62 t CO2 ha-1 yr-1 (467.10±246.86 mg CO2 m-2 hr-1) and 41.51±13.41 t CO2 ha-1 yr-1 (473.86±153.12 mg CO2 m-2 hr-1), respectively. Carbon stock for the month of August 2009 and January 2010, respectively was 297.70 t ha-1 and 456.60 t ha-1. T test showed that there were significant (p<0.05) differences in many of the soil parameters such as the pH, water content and organic carbon. Correlation analysis showed that CO2 is influenced by the organic matter, water content and temperature.

Keywords: Humic and fulvic acid, CO2 emissions, carbon stock, peat soil, turmeric



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Muhammad Danial Jamat, Jahimin Asika

aFaculty Science and Natural Resources, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Jalan UMS, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

*Corresponding author: danialjamat1994@gmail.com


Raw Kapok (Ceiba pentandra) fibre was initially washed and dried before undergoes chemical treatment. Upon dried, the kapok fibre was bleached and delignified at room temperature, in an acidic solution containing 6% of sulphuric acid and 4% hydrogen peroxide to remove hemicellulose and wax. The treated kapok was filtered and washed thoroughly with distilled water and vacuum dried at 60 oC for 10 hours. Finally, the treated kapok was converted to alpha-cellulose (α-cellulose) by alkali treatment. In this step, treated kapok was immersed in 17.5% of sodium hydroxide solution for 30 minutes at a temperature of 50 oC to remove alkali-soluble components. The obtained α-cellulose, termed as alkali-treated kapok fiber (AKTF) was filtered, washed thoroughly with distilled water until pH is neutral and vacuum dried at 60 oC for 10 hours. In this stage, a certain weight of ATKF (0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, and 40%) were mixed with a hot solution of PVA and dried at room temperature. In the mechanical test, ATKF – PVA biocomposite shows an increase in tensile strength and elastic modulus up to 30% content of kapok fibre but drop at 40% kapok loading. The result shows that both ATKF – PVA biocomposite film (30%) were having the highest mechanical properties among the others and was chosen for next characterizations. It is evidence in FTIR spectra that the composites indicate the formation of new hydrogen interaction between kapok fibre and PVA which might help to improve the mechanical properties. As for XRD analysis, the ATKF – PVA biocomposite film (30%) blend was found to be a heterogeneous as the peaks of diffractogram were overlap each other. This is supported by SEM micrograph in which ATKF – PVA biocomposite (30%) show a heterogeneous phase. Additionally, in the TGA data, ATKF – PVA biocomposite (30%) was founded less thermally stable than raw kapok and pure PVA is the least thermally stable among other samples.

KEYWORDS. PVA; Kapok fiber; Biocomposite; Mechanical Properties


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Solar Car: Brief Review and Challenges

Ag Sufiyan Abd Hamid*12 and Halim Razali2

1Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Jalan UMS, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

2Solar Energy Research Institute, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

*Corresponding author: pian@ums.edu.my



Solar energy is known as renewable and clean source of energy. This tremendous amount of energy is widely used from small portable application to gigawatt size power plant generation. It has been utilized for various off grid or standalone applications including for vehicles. However, the progress of Solar Car (SC) was unsatisfied. Unlike Hydrogen Car (HC) and Pure Electric Vehicle (PEV), there is no commercialize SC marketed yet. Many strategies contributed to the successful of HC and PEV such as supportive policy, taxation, facilities and private involvement. The main component of SC can be simplified and consists of the structure, photovoltaic (PV) module, rechargeable battery pack, electric motor and power management unit. Main issue for SC is how to match between energy require and supply. Researchers are trying to find multiple solution from various aspects. Thirty SC prototypes were developed globally by numerous parties and most of them from academic bodies or universities. The purpose of the development is for solar car racing and to break commercialization boundary. As far as technology is concern, to achieve self-powered SC is quite challenging. The nearest potential solution can be learned from HC and PEV. All these potential solutions must be balance with the other side factor and come with a cost.


KEYWORDS. Solar car; Electric vehicle; Solar energy, Standalone photovoltaic.


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M. Anisuzzamana,b*, M. Rajinb, D. Krishnaiahb, E. Junnyb
aEnergy Research Unit (ERU),
bChemical Engineering Programme, Faculty of Engineering,
Universiti Malaysia Sabah, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, MALAYSIA.

*Corresponding author: anis_zaman@ums.edu.my; dr.anis.ums@gmail.com


Generally, waxes and asphaltenes are classified as solid category which involved with deposition of high-molecular-weighted compounds along pipelines which leads to production issues. This study presents the effect of different mixture concentration consisting of copolymer and solvent on crude oil viscosity in order to find a solution for reduction of wax and asphalthene deposition along the surface of pipelines. There were two proportions used which are ethylene-vinyl acetate 25 (EVA 25), methylcyclohexane (MCH) and paraxylene as first proportion and EVA 40, MCH and paraxylene as second proportion. EVA is a polymer that comprises of linear chain of polyethylene fragment and vinyl acetate molecule which has the ability in controlling the size of formed wax crystals. Laboratory experiments were designed by response surface methodology (RSM) specifically using central composite design (CCD) to formulate ratio and analyzed optimum percentage composition of mixture to obtain a good model. The optimum parameters were 10.02% of EVA 25, 10.00% of MCH and 79.98% of paraxylene for first proportion and 10.00% of EVA 40, 45.78% of MCH and 44.22% of paraxylene for second proportion to minimize the viscosity of crude oil.

KEYWORDS: Crude Oil, Ethylene-vinyl acetate, Methylcyclohexane, Paraxylene, Wax, Response surface methodology (RSM)


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