Synthesis and characterization of microcrystalline cellulose powder from corn husk fibres using bio-chemical route

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In the present study low cost microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) powder was prepared from cornhusk fibres, extracted chemically followed by anaerobic consortium treatment. Cornhusk fibres were treated with 10% alkali at 120 °C for 60 min followed by anaerobic consortium treatment for 3 days. It was then bleached with hydrogen peroxide and finally washed. Bleached pulp was hydrolysed using 4 N HCl to get the MCC. In the present investigation, we have characterized the MCC prepared from cornhusk fibres thoroughly for its physico-chemical properties and compared with Avicel®-PH 101, a commercial grade MCC. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), X-Ray Powder Diffraction (XRD) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) were used for characterization of samples. Similarly the powder and flow properties of the MCC prepared from cornhusk fibres were also investigated and the results were compared with Avicel®-PH 101. Our results showed that various properties and the purity of MCC prepared from cornhusk fibres are comparable to the commercial grade MCC. Since, cornhusk is an agricultural waste product, MCC obtained from cornhusk fibres will be from cheaper raw materials than current market MCC.

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The authors would like to acknowledge the support from the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Mumbai and ICAR-Central Institute for Research on Cotton Technology (CIRCOT), Mumbai. Thanks are also expressed to the staff members of CIRCOT for their help to carry out various characterizations of MCC.

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Correspondence to Rajendra R. Deshmukh.

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Kambli, N.D., Mageshwaran, V., Patil, P.G. et al. Synthesis and characterization of microcrystalline cellulose powder from corn husk fibres using bio-chemical route. Cellulose 24, 5355–5369 (2017).

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  • Cornhusk fibres
  • Extraction
  • Anaerobic consortium treatment
  • Microcrystalline cellulose
  • Physico-chemical and flow properties