Because of its pigment content, palm oil kernel shells, a solid waste from crude palm oil (CPO) production that is usually simply thrown away, can actually be processed further to produce a natural dye for batik making.
“The use of palm shells as a natural dye for batik in cotton and silk fabrics can produce a quality dye that is more resistant to washing and rubbing,” said Pujilestari from the Center for Handicrafts and Batik in a 2016 research report on this matter.
Compared to cocoa shells, dyes from palm oil kernel shells, which produce a purple hue, has a higher resistance to fading due to washing and friction.
Another by products from oil palm that can be used in batik making was the stearin from palm oil that can be used to produce a substitute for paraffin in making wax. Wax is used as a dye resistant in batik production, and is usually made using paraffin derived from fossil oil.
“The Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) has discovered a technology that can process compounds from the oil palm fruits compounds from oil palm into wae, to replace its petroleum-based raw material. This palm oil product is called bio-paraffin wax,” BPPT said on its official website.
Stearin, the separation of palm oil fraction into solids can be used as bio-paraffin to substitute for paraffin from fossil oil. Although stearin still has to go through a molecular structure modification process to be able to be mixed with the other components of the formula, the process will produces a perfect batik wax formula.
Apart from being more environmentally friendly, the use of palm oil bio-paraffin can also produce high quality wax that is capable of lead to a brighter and sharper color separation and is also , resistant to alkaline and acid solutions.
The use of palm oil products in the national batik industry in the form of dyes and bio-paraffin represented environmentally-friendly options for dealing with palm kernel shell waste. In general, solid waste from palm oil production are usually only used as boiler fuel or are exported as biomass material to Japan and Thailand, but most of the time the waste is just thrown away as waste.
Read more from Didiet Nugraha.
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