Formaldehyde emissions from conventional particleboards raise issues of health and safety. One of the potential solutions is binderless particleboards made without using synthetic adhesives. However, the physical and mechanical properties of untreated binderless particleboards are relatively poor compared to conventional particleboards. This research aims to reveal the potential of using steam pretreatment to improve binderless particleboard properties made from oil palm trunk. The oil palm trunk particles were treated with steam pretreatment for different durations of time (20, 40, 60 min). The chemical constituents of the treated and untreated particles were evaluated. The binderless particleboards were made from treated and untreated particles. In addition, panels using untreated oil palm trunk particles with 10% urea–formaldehyde resin were made and used as a comparison. The boards were evaluated according to European Standards. The results indicated that the hemicellulose and starch content gradually reduced with the progression of steam pretreatment. The physical and mechanical properties were improved by increasing steam pretreatment duration. The steam pretreatment was able to improve the properties of binderless particleboards made from oil palm trunk. However, the performance of steam-pretreated binderless particleboard in this study is not compatible with the particleboards made using 10% urea–formaldehyde.
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