Rice husk as a fiber can serve an important role as reinforcement in a composite material by going deep into its characterization to know the proper matrix materials between metallic ceramic and polymer materials. Rice husk (RH) as a silica source was studied, resulting from the husk removed in the lab (RHA) and that collected from commercial rice milling area (RHB). Rice husk consists of inorganic, combustible matter in the rice that has been fused into an amorphous structure. A composting treatment was employed in an effort to improve the processability of rice husks. Changes in the chemical composition, physical structure, and mechanical properties of modified rice husks were analysed. Microscopic techniques, such as X-ray fluorescence (XRF), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used to observe the surface and internal structure of the RHA. The results among other things revealed that RHA consist of mainly SiO2, with amorphous structure, microscopic examination showed that it has a porous cellular structure and consists of irregular-shaped particles. And found out that RHA has the ash content of 19.15% and moisture content of 5.66% whereas, RHB has 17.34% and 4.97% as ash and moisture content respectively. However, scanning electron microscopy images showed that the epidermis became rugged and lumpy because the composition of rice husks (cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and pectin) was partially decomposed, an effect confirmed by the chemical composition. Thermogravimetric analysis showed that RHA samples had better thermal stability than the RHB. All results indicated that the rice husk prepared and treated in the lab has better physical, chemical, and mechanical properties than that randomly selected at the rice processing area, which are beneficial for its utilization in engineering application.
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