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Materials 2018, 11(7), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11071160

Environmentally-Friendly Extraction of Cellulose Nanofibers from Steam-Explosion Pretreated Sugar Beet Pulp

1,2,3
,
1,2,3,* , 2,3
and
2,3,*
1
State Key Laboratory of Pulp and Paper Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510641, China
2
National Engineering Research Center of Novel Equipment for Polymer Processing, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510641, China
3
The Key Laboratory of Polymer Processing Engineering of the Ministry of Education, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510641, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 June 2018 / Revised: 2 July 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 7 July 2018
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Abstract

Cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) with an average diameter of 22 nm were prepared from sugar beet pulp (SBP) via an environmentally-friendly method. Steam-explosion pretreated SBP was treated with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) bleaching, high-speed blending, and ultrasonic treatment. Thermogravimetric analysis showed that hemicellulose was partially hydrolyzed in the steam-cooking stage, pectin was removed in the explosion stage, and lignin was removed by H2O2 bleaching. The removal of non-cellulosic components was confirmed by Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. Morphological analysis showed that steam-explosion pretreatment largely extracted the binder materials of hemicellulose and pectin. This exposed the microfibrillated cellulosic fibers, which promoted subsequent nanofibrillation. X-ray diffraction showed that the CNFs had a crystallinity index of 62.3%. The CNFs had good thermal stability, and thus have potential for use as fillers in polymer matrices. The only chemical reagent used in this green method was H2O2. Combining H2O2 bleaching with steam explosion, high-speed blending, and ultrasonic treatment reduced the overall energy consumption and increased the efficiency of the CNFs extraction. The method, therefore, has potential application in industrial processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: sugar beet pulp; cellulose nanofibers; steam explosion; environmentally-friendly sugar beet pulp; cellulose nanofibers; steam explosion; environmentally-friendly
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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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Yang, W.; Feng, Y.; He, H.; Yang, Z. Environmentally-Friendly Extraction of Cellulose Nanofibers from Steam-Explosion Pretreated Sugar Beet Pulp. Materials 2018, 11, 1160.

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