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Nanostructural Evolution of Sugarcane Rind and Pith Submitted to Hydrothermal Pretreatments

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Lignocellulose conversion into cellulosic ethanol and coproducts starts with a pretreatment step. Most current industrial plants of cellulosic ethanol use thermochemical pretreatments under hydrothermal conditions, with or without addition of acid catalyst. Such pretreatments modify biomass chemistry and morphology, particularly at the nanoscale. In this work, we use X-ray diffraction, dynamic vapor sorption and calorimetric thermoporometry to investigate the biomass nanostructural changes promoted by hydrothermal conditions. We compare and differentiate the rind and pith fractions of sugarcane stalks in order to contribute to the understanding of rind-pith contrasting recalcitrance. Moreover, for both cane fractions our results point consistently to cellulose co-crystallization, lignin aggregation, and opening of nanoscale pores as the main nanostructural phenomena occurring during hydrothermal treatments.
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Keywords: BAGASSE; CELLULOSE; CELLULOSIC ETHANOL; PRETREATMENT; SUGARCANE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2018

This article was made available online on 05 September 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Nanostructural Evolution of Sugarcane Rind and Pith Submitted to Hydrothermal Pretreatments".

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  • The Journal of Renewable Materials (JRM) publishes high quality peer reviewed original research on macromolecules and additives obtained from renewable/biobased resources. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, JRM introduces cutting-edge research on biobased monomers, polymers, additives (both organic and inorganic), their blends and composites. It showcases both fundamental aspects and new applications for renewable materials. The fundamental theories and topics pertain to chemistry of biobased monomers, macromoners and polymers, their structure-property relationship, processing using sustainable methods, characterization (spectroscopic, morphological, thermal, mechanical, and rheological), bio and environmental degradation, and life cycle analysis. Demonstration of use of renewable materials and composites in applications including adhesives, bio and environmentally degradable structures, biomedicine, construction, electrical & electronics, mechanical, mendable and self-healing systems, optics, packaging, recycling, shape-memory, and stimulus responsive systems will be presented.
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