On the accessibility and structure of xylan in birch kraft pulp
Source: Cellulose, Volume 8, Number 3, 2001 , pp. 209-215(7)
Abstract:The structure of -(1→4)-xylan, both in isolated form and as a component of bleached birch kraft pulp, was studied employing CP/MAS ^13C NMR spectroscopy. Bleached birch kraft pulp was treated with xylanases or alkali in order to distinguish between accessible and inaccessible xylan. In xylan which was alkali-extracted from bleached birch kraft pulp, the relative contents of xylose and 4-O-methylglucuronic acid were 99.4 and 0.6 weight %, respectively, and the degree of polymerization was ∼70. The supermolecular structure of xylan is very sensitive to the surrounding environment. All extracted xylan chains were accessible to water and methanol and the solvent molecules easily exchanged. In bleached birch kraft pulp, cellulose fibrils interact with xylan chains, causing these to adopt a conformation similar to one of the configurations observed for ‘dry’ xylan. In birch pulp, about 1/3 of the xylan was found to be accessible to digestion by xylanases or extraction with 5 % w/w potassium hydroxide (aq). A signal at 81.7 ppm in the C-4 region of the CP/MAS ^13C NMR spectrum of bleached birch kraft pulp originated from xylan at the accessible fibril surfaces. A portion of a broad signal at 83.5 ppm reflected inaccessible xylan, which is probably present as co-aggregates with cellulose fibril aggregates.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Publication date: 2001