Morphological evolution of curauá fibers under acid hydrolysis
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- de Oliveira Taipina, M., Ferrarezi, M.M.F. & Gonçalves, M.C. Cellulose (2012) 19: 1199. doi:10.1007/s10570-012-9715-3
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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.