Acetone soluble oil palm empty fruit bunch cellulose acetate (OPEFB-CA) of DS 2.52 has been successfully synthesized in a one-step heterogeneous acetylation of OPEFB cellulose without necessitating the hydrolysis stage. This has only been made possible by the mathematical modeling of the acetylation process by manipulating the variables of reaction time and acetic anhydride/cellulose ratio (RR). The obtained model was verified by experimental data with an error of less than 2.5%. NMR analysis showed that the distribution of the acetyl moiety among the three OH groups of cellulose indicates a preference at the C6 position, followed by C3 and C2. XRD revealed that OPEFB-CA is highly amorphous with a degree of crystallinity estimated to be ca. 6.41% as determined from DSC. The OPEFB-CA films exhibited good mechanical properties being their tensile strength and Young's modulus higher than those of the commercial CA.
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