, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 1183–1192 | Cite as

Cellulose nanofibers from curaua fibers

  • Ana Carolina Corrêa
  • Eliangela de Morais Teixeira
  • Luiz Antonio Pessan
  • Luiz Henrique Capparelli Mattoso


Curaua nanofibers extracted under different conditions were investigated. The raw fibers were mercerized with NaOH solutions; they were then submitted to acid hydrolysis using three different types of acids (H2SO4, a mixture of H2SO4/HCl and HCl). The fibers were analyzed by cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose contents; viscometry, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and thermal stability by thermogravimetric analysis (TG). The nanofibers were morphologically characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and their surface charges in suspensions were estimated by Zeta-potential. Their degree of polymerization (DP) was characterized by viscometry, crystallinity by XRD and thermal stability by TG. Increasing the NaOH solution concentration in the mercerization, there was a decrease of hemicellulose and lignin contents and consequently an increase of cellulose content. XRD patterns presented changes in the crystal structure from cellulose I to cellulose II when the fibers were mercerized with 17.5% NaOH solution. All curaua nanofibers presented a rod-like shape, an average diameter (D) of 6–10 nm and length (L) of 80–170 nm, with an aspect ratio (L/D) of around 13–17. The mercerization of fibers with NaOH solutions influenced the crystallinity index and thermal stability of the resulting nanofibers. The fibers mercerized with NaOH solution 17.5% resulted in more crystalline nanofibers, but thermally less stable and inferior DP. The aggregation state increases with the amount of HCl introduced into the extraction, due to the decrease of surface charges (as verified by Zeta Potential analysis). However, this release presented nanofibers with better thermal stability than those whose acid hydrolysis was carried out using only H2SO4.


Curaua fibers Cellulose nanofibers Acid hydrolysis 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by CNPq, FAPESP (Process No. 07/50863-4), FINEP and EMBRAPA.


  1. Alemdar A, Sain M (2008) Isolation and characterization of nanofibers from agricultural residues–Wheat straw and soy hulls. Bioresource Technol 99:1664–1671CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Araki J, Wada M, Kuga S, Okano T (1998) Flow properties of microcrystalline cellulose suspension prepared by acid treatment of native cellulose. Colloid Surface A 142:75–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Borysiak S, Doczekalska B (2005) X-ray diffraction study of pine Wood treated with NaOH. Fibres Text East Eur 13(5):87–89Google Scholar
  4. Borysiak S, Garbarczyk J (2003) Applying the WAXS method to estimate the supermolecular structure of cellulose fibres after mercerization. Fibres Text East Eur 11(5):104–106Google Scholar
  5. Chen HZ, Chen JZ, Liu J, Li ZH (1999) Studies on the steam explosion of wheat straw. I-Effects of the processing conditions for steam explosion of wheat straw and analysis of the process. J Cellulose Sci Technol 7(2):60–67Google Scholar
  6. D’Almeida ALFS, Barreto DW, Calado V, D’Almeida JRM (2008) Thermal analysis of less common lignocellulose fibers. J Therm Anal Calorim 91(2):405–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dufresne A (2006) Comparing the mechanical properties of high performances polymer nanocomposites from biological sources. J Nanosci Nanotechnol 6:322–330Google Scholar
  8. Gardner DJ, Oporto GS, Mills R, Samir MASA (2008) Adhesion and Surface Issues in Cellulose and Nanocellulose. J Adhes Sci Technol 22:545–567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gomes A, Matsuo T, Goda K, Ohgi J (2007) Development and effect of alkali treatment on tensile properties of curaua fiber green composites. Compos Part A-Appl S 38:1811–1820CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hubbe MA, Rojas OJ, Lucia LA, Sain M (2008) Cellulosic nanocomposites, review. BioResources 3(3):929–980Google Scholar
  11. Ishikawa A, Okano T, Sugiyama J (1997) Fine structure and tensile properties of ramie fibres in the crystalline form of cellulose I, II, IIII and IVI. Polymer 38:463–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Leão AL, Caraschi JC, Tan IH (2000) Curaua fiber—A tropical natural fibers from amazon potencial and applications in composites. In: Frollini E, Leão AL, Mattoso LHC (eds) Natural Polymers and Agrofibers Composites. São Carlos, Brazil, pp 257–272Google Scholar
  13. Lima MMS, Borsali R (2004) Rodlike cellulose microcrystals: structure, properties and applications. Macromol Rapid Comm 25:771–787CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lindgren T, Edlund U, Iversen T (1995) A multivariate characterization of crystal transformations of cellulose. Cellulose 2:273–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Monteiro SN, Aquino RCMP, Lopes FPD, Carvalho EA, D’Almeida JRM (2006) Comportamento Mecânico e Características estruturais de compósitos poliméricos reforçados com fibras contínuas e alinhadas de Curauá. Revista Matéria 11(3):197–203Google Scholar
  16. Morán JI, Alvarez VA, Cyras VP, Vázquez A (2008) Extraction of cellulose and preparation of nanocellulose from sisal fibers. Cellulose 15:149–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. O’Sullivan AC (1997) Cellulose: the structure slowly unravels. Cellulose 4:173–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Oh SY, Yoo DI, Shin Y, Kim HC, Kim HY, Chung YS, Park WH, Youk JH (2005) Crystalline structure analysis of cellulose treated with sodium hydroxide and carbon dioxide by means of X-ray diffraction and FTIR spectroscopy. Carbohyd Res 340:2376–2391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pääkko M, Vapaavuori J, Silvennoinen R, Kosonen H, Ankerfors M, Lindström T, Berglund LA, Ikkala O (2008) Long and entangled native cellulose I nanofibers allow flexible aerogels and hierarchically porous templates for functionalities. Soft Matter 4:2492–2499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Paula MP, Lacerda TM, Frollini E (2008) Sisal cellulose acetates obtained from heterogeneous reactions. Express Polymer Letters 2(6):423–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Roman M, Winter WT (2004) Effect of sulfate groups from sulfuric acid hydrolysis on the thermal degradation behavior of bacterial cellulose. Biomacromolecules 5:1671–1677CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Samir MASA, Alloin F, Dufresne A (2005) Review of recent research into cellulosic whiskers, their properties and their application in nanocomposite field. Biomacromolecules 6(2):612–626CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Silva RV, Aquino EMF (2008) Curaua fiber: a new alternative to polymeric composites. J Reinf Plast Comp 27(1):103–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Silva R, Haraguchi SK, Muniz EC, Rubira AF (2009) Aplicações de fibras lignocelulósicas na química de polímeros e em compósitos. Quim Nova 32(3):661–671Google Scholar
  25. Siró I, Plackett D (2010) Microfibrillated cellulose and new nanocomposite materias: a review. Cellulose 17:459–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Souza SF, Leão AL, Cai JH, Wu C, Sain M, Cherian BM (2010) Nanocellulose from curava fibers and their Nanocomposites. Mol Cryst Liq Cryst 522:42[342]–52[352]CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tomczak F, Satyanarayana KG, Sydenstricker THD (2007) Studies on lignocellulosic fibers of Brazil: Part III–Morphology and properties of Brazilian Curauá fibers. Compos Part A-Appl S 38:2227–2236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Trindade WG, Hoareau W, Megiatto JD, Razera IAT, Castellan A, Frollini E (2005) Thermoset phenolic matrices reinforced with unmodified and surface-grafted furfuryl alcohol sugar cane bagasse and curaua fibers: properties of fibers and composites. Biomacromolecules 6:2485–2496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wang Y, Cao X, Zhang L (2006) Effects of cellulose whiskers on properties of soy protein thermoplastics. Macromol Biosci 6:524–531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wang N, Ding E, Cheng R (2007) Thermal degradation behaviors of spherical cellulose nanocrystals with sulfate groups. Polymer 48:3486–3493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Yang H, Yan R, Chen H, Lee DH, Zheng C (2007) Characteristics of hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin pyrolysis. Fuel 86:1781–1788CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zhang J, Elder TJ, Pu Y, Ragauskas AJ (2007) Facile synthesis of spherical cellulose nanoparticles. Carbohyd Polym 69:607–611CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Carolina Corrêa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eliangela de Morais Teixeira
    • 2
  • Luiz Antonio Pessan
    • 1
  • Luiz Henrique Capparelli Mattoso
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.PPG-CEM, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciência e Engenharia de MateriaisUFSCar, Universidade Federal de São CarlosSão CarlosBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório Nacional de Nanotecnologia para o Agronegócio (LNNA)Embrapa Instrumentação AgropecuáriaSão CarlosBrazil

Personalised recommendations