Original Paper

Cellulose

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 653-664

Characterization of sugarcane bagasse by autofluorescence microscopy

  • Tiago A. ChimenezAffiliated withInstituto de Química de São Carlos, Universidade de São Paulo
  • , Marcelo H. GehlenAffiliated withInstituto de Química de São Carlos, Universidade de São Paulo Email author 
  • , Karen MarabeziAffiliated withInstituto de Química de São Carlos, Universidade de São PauloLaboratório Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia do Bioetanol, CTBE
  • , Antonio A. S. CurveloAffiliated withInstituto de Química de São Carlos, Universidade de São PauloLaboratório Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia do Bioetanol, CTBE

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Abstract

The spatial distribution of chemical compounds in sugarcane bagasse is an important issue in its use as a raw material for second generation ethanol production from cellulose hydrolysis. Lignocellulosic materials including whole bagasse, fiber, pith, and respective samples obtained after chemical bleaching were investigated using confocal fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy with one and two-photon excitation. Autofluorescence from unbleached samples revealed that emission from fiber walls containing the lignin fraction was longitudinally oriented. After bleaching treatment, the oriented emission was partially disrupted. Autofluorescence from bleached samples with a residual lignin content of about 1 % was ascribed to improved dispersion of remaining fluorophores throughout the samples inducing a concomitant reduction of fluorescence self-quenching in the samples. The combination of autofluorescence images with spectral emission and lifetime measurements provides a tool for microscopic characterization of natural bagasse samples. Moreover, the technique allows monitoring bleaching processes related to lignin removal.

Keywords

Autofluorescence Fluorescence microscopy Sugarcane bagasse Lignin