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Extraction, Chemical Composition, Morphology and Characterization of Cellulose Microfibrils from Ficus Leaves

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In this work, we successfully extracted cellulose microfibrils from ficus leaves adopting the acidchlorite, alkaline and acid hydrolysis process. Chemical analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic studies, wide angle X-ray diffraction (XRD) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) were used to characterize the extracted fibers and cellulose microfibrils from ficus leaves. The chemical analysis results revealed an increase in α-cellulose content and decrease in lignin and hemicelluloses for the cellulose microfibrils over raw fibers. The FTIR and NMR spectroscopic studies indicated that the extractives, lignin and hemicellulose were removed extensively from the raw fibers during extraction of cellulose microfibrils. Crystallinity determined by Wide angle X-ray diffraction method and the studies reveal that extracted cellulose microfibrils were more crystalline than the raw fibers. The extracted cellulose microfibrils obtained from raw fibers had good thermal stability. Structural and surface analysis of the microfibrils showed a reduction in diameter and changes in surface morphology from that of the raw fibers. The extracted cellulose microfibrils appeared to be suitable for industrial applications such as reinforcing filler for biocomposites, raw material for paper pulp and bio fuel.
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Keywords: CELLULOSE MICROFIBRILS; CRYSTALLINITY; FICUS LEAVES; MORPHOLOGY; SPECTRAL ANALYSIS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 August 2014

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  • The goal of the creation of a biobased economy is challenging to agriculture, forestry, academia, government and industry. The extractable resources of the Earth are finite, regardless of the quibble over when they will be depleted. The economic, political and social demands for biobased chemicals, materials and energy are expected to radically transform the materials industries, particularly the plastics industry as well as the biofuel industry. These changes will be based on the principles of sustainability, eco-efficiency, industrial ecology, and green chemistry and engineering. In keeping with the growth of knowledge in this field, there is a strong need for a forum to share original research related to biobased materials and bioenergy. The Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy (JBMB) has been created as an international peer-reviewed periodical to fulfill the need for communication in these research areas. This journal will encompass related research activities in all fields of science, engineering and the life sciences.
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