Extraction, chemical composition, morphology and characterization of cellulose microfibrils from ficus leaves

C. Uma Maheswari, K. Obi Reddy, E. Muzenda

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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 -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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-414
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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