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Open AccessArticle

Characterization of Cellulase-Treated Fibers and Resulting Cellulose Nanocrystals Generated through Acid Hydrolysis

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Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P5, Canada
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Biomass Conversion and Processing Technologies, InnoTech Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6N 1E4, Canada
3
School of Engineering Science, Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, FI-53851 Lappeenranta, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(8), 1272; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11081272
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 24 July 2018
Integrating enzymatic treatment and acid hydrolysis potentially improves the economics of cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) production and demonstrates a sustainable cellulosic ethanol co-generation strategy. In this study, the effect of enzymatic treatment on filter paper and wood pulp fibers, and CNCs generated via subsequent acid hydrolysis were assessed. Characterization was performed using a pulp quality monitoring system, scanning and transmission electron microscopies, dynamic light scattering, X-ray diffraction, and thermogravimetric analysis. Enzymatic treatment partially reduced fiber length, but caused swelling, indicating simultaneous fragmentation and layer erosion. Preferential hydrolysis of less ordered cellulose by cellulases slightly improved the crystallinity index of filter paper fiber from 86% to 88%, though no change was observed for wood pulp fibre. All CNC colloids were stable with zeta potential values below −39 mV and hydrodynamic diameters ranging from 205 to 294 nm. Furthermore, the temperature for the peak rate of CNC thermal degradation was generally not affected by enzymatic treatment. These findings demonstrate that CNCs of comparable quality can be produced from an enzymatically-mediated acid hydrolysis biorefining strategy that co-generates fermentable sugars for biofuel production. View Full-Text
Keywords: acid hydrolysis; cellulase; cellulose nanocrystals; cellulose hydrolysis; crystallinity; enzymatic treatment; particle size; zeta potential acid hydrolysis; cellulase; cellulose nanocrystals; cellulose hydrolysis; crystallinity; enzymatic treatment; particle size; zeta potential
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MDPI and ACS Style

Beyene, D.; Chae, M.; Dai, J.; Danumah, C.; Tosto, F.; Demesa, A.G.; Bressler, D.C. Characterization of Cellulase-Treated Fibers and Resulting Cellulose Nanocrystals Generated through Acid Hydrolysis. Materials 2018, 11, 1272.

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