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Nanomaterials 2017, 7(3), 51; doi:10.3390/nano7030051

Preparation and Characterization of Cellulose Nanocrystals from the Bio-ethanol Residuals

1
College of Material Science and Technology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
2
Composite Materials and Engineering Center, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99163, USA
3
Forest Products Laboratory, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Orono, ME 04469, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John H. T. Luong
Received: 10 January 2017 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract

This study was to explore the conversion of low-cost bio-residuals into high value-added cellulose nanocrystals. Two enzymatic hydrolyzed residuals (i.e., HRMMW and HRSPW) were collected from two different bio-ethanol producing processes—hydrolyzing medium-milled wood (MMW) and hydrolyzing acid sulfite pretreated wood (SPW), respectively. The results showed that both residuals contained over 20 wt % glucan with a crystallinity of about 30%, confirming the existence of cellulose in a well-organized structure in two bio-residuals. The cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) were successfully extracted by first bleaching the hydrolyzed residuals to remove lignin and then hydrolyzing them with sulfuric acid. The resulting CNCs displayed the flow birefringence under two crossed polarizers. Compared with CNCs from microfibrillated cellulose (CNCMCC), HRMMW and its resulted CNC present the smallest particle size and aspect ratio. CNCMCC had the larger particle size, aspect ratio, and higher z-potential value, CNCSPW presented a similar morphology to CNCMCC, and had the largest aspect ratio. The CNCMCC enhanced its high crystallinity to 85.5%. However, CNCMMW and CNCSPW had a better thermal stability and higher activation energy as well as onset temperature and maximum decomposition temperature. As a result, the CNCs from bio-ethanol residuals are valued and promising cellulose nanoparticle resources. View Full-Text
Keywords: bio-ethanol residuals; cellulose nanocrystal; aspect ratio; particle size; thermal stability; crystallinity; z potential bio-ethanol residuals; cellulose nanocrystal; aspect ratio; particle size; thermal stability; crystallinity; z potential
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Du, L.; Wang, J.; Zhang, Y.; Qi, C.; Wolcott, M.P.; Yu, Z. Preparation and Characterization of Cellulose Nanocrystals from the Bio-ethanol Residuals. Nanomaterials 2017, 7, 51.

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