Physicochemical and Thermal Properties of Acrylated Palm Olein as a Promising Biopolymer


The utilisation of palm oil-based polymers as biomaterials has received considerable interest to support further expansion in the biomedical field as they pose the potential capability of competing with synthetic polymers per their physicochemical, thermal, and crystallinity properties. In this study, the synthesis of a new green biopolymer, namely acrylated palm olein (APO) from a palm oil-based precursor, was developed. The APO was synthesised via the ring-opening process of the epoxidised palm olein (EPOo) with acrylic acid and triethylamine. The acrylation process produced an APO of a high yield (86.64%) with a molecular weight of 1750 Da. The ester group representing the APO was confirmed through the proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR), carbon-13 nuclear magnetic resonance (13C-NMR) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), which revealed the promising biodegradable point of the APO molecular structure. Meanwhile, thermal and crystallisation profiles of the APO showed a single-stage decomposition pattern and its triglycerides (TAGs) crystal formation and melting behaviour. As a result, the desired APO polymer was obtained, which possessed potential biodegradable chemical functional group, amorphous, and low molecular weight properties.

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Data Availability

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article.


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The authors gratefully acknowledge the Malaysia Nuclear Agency for materials and instruments support under the Radiation Processing Technology Division (Project code: NM-R&D-15-01), the research funds from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) of DIP/2019/012, and the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia of FRGS/1/2018/TK02/UKM/02/2, as well as additional support from the Research Centre for Sustainable Process Technology (CESPRO) and Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, UKM Bangi. Finally, the first author would like to thank Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA) for the PhD scholarship.


This study was funded by the Malaysia Nuclear Agency (NM-R&D-15-01), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (DIP/2019/012), and Ministry of Higher Education (FRGS/1/2018/TK02/UKM/02/2).

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analyses were performed by RT, RR and MZS. The first draft of the manuscript was written by RT and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Rosiah Rohani.

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Tajau, R., Rohani, R. & Salleh, M.Z. Physicochemical and Thermal Properties of Acrylated Palm Olein as a Promising Biopolymer. J Polym Environ (2020).

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  • Palm olein
  • Biodegradable
  • Biomaterials
  • Biopolymers
  • Ring-opening polymerisation