Cellulose microfibrils have been prepared from banana rachis using a combination of chemical and mechanical treatments. The morphology and structure of the samples were characterized using transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and X-ray diffraction. Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to characterize the chemical modifications of the samples after each treatment. Suspensions of bundled or individualized 5-nm-wide microfibrils were obtained after homogenization (PH) whereas an organosolv (PO) treatment resulted in shorter aggregates of parallel cellulose microcrystallites. The sharper rings in the X-ray diffraction pattern of the PO-treated sample suggest a higher crystallinity due to a more efficient removal of hemicelluloses and dissolution of amorphous zones by the acid treatment. Both microfibrils and microcrystals prepared by both methods can be used as reinforcing filler in nanocomposite materials.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgments The authors would like to express their gratitude to Colciencias, for the financial support that has made this research work possible. We also thank M. F. Marais (CERMAV) for providing a sample of bacterial cellulose.
- Banana rachis
- Cellulose microfibrils
- Chemical treatments