Original Paper


, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 1199-1207

First online:

Morphological evolution of curauá fibers under acid hydrolysis

  • Marcia de Oliveira TaipinaAffiliated withInstitute of Chemistry, University of Campinas (UNICAMP)
  • , Marcia Maria Favaro FerrareziAffiliated withInstitute of Chemistry, University of Campinas (UNICAMP)
  • , Maria do Carmo GonçalvesAffiliated withInstitute of Chemistry, University of Campinas (UNICAMP) Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Cellulose whiskers were obtained by means of sulfuric acid hydrolysis of curauá fibers. Before hydrolysis, the natural fibers were treated with an alkaline solution to remove the non-cellulosic content. Fiber degradation evolution and cellulose whisker formation were analyzed by structural and morphological analysis. The original fiber structure underwent a fragmentation mechanism after being exposed for 3 min to sulfuric acid. Cellulose whiskers were lixiviated from the fiber surface after 10 min of hydrolysis, developing two scenarios: one where the whiskers became unattached from the original fiber, and the other which remained attached. The cellulose whiskers presented a needle-like geometry with an approximate diameter of 11 nm and average length of 185 nm, after 30 min of acid hydrolysis. Based on microscopic characterization, a schematic representation of the morphological evolution of the cellulose fibers submitted to acid hydrolysis is proposed.


Fiber Cellulose whisker Acid hydrolysis Degradation Morphology