, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 3873–3889 | Cite as

Bio-sourced porous cellulose microfibrils from coffee pulp for wastewater treatment

  • Mounir El AchabyEmail author
  • Mariana Ruesgas-Ramón
  • Nour-El Houda Fayoud
  • Maria Cruz Figueroa-Espinoza
  • Vera Trabadelo
  • Khalid Draoui
  • Hicham Ben Youcef
Original Research


The present work describes the production of novel highly hydrated cellulose microfibrils (CMFs) with unique morphology from coffee pulp waste using specific chemical treatments. The as-produced CMFs were successfully characterized and then used as an adsorbent for removal of methylene blue (MB) from concentrated aqueous solutions. Surprisingly, it was found that the novel CMFs display high water-uptake ability, with a maximum swelling ratio of 265%, and that they form an entangled hydrated network gel in water. The morphological observation and nitrogen adsorption measurement demonstrated that the extracted CMFs exhibit an average fibril diameter of 11.5 µm and mesoporous structure with an average pore size of 6.37 nm. These special features make the as-produced CMFs excellent candidates to be used as adsorbents for removal of MB from concentrated solutions. The performed adsorption studies determined that the adsorption equilibrium was reached within 90 min. The adsorption kinetics data were well fitted to the pseudo-second-order kinetic model, and the adsorption isotherms were well described by the Freundlich isotherm model. In addition, the maximum adsorption capacity was 182.5 mg/g, much higher than that determined for other previously reported cellulose-based adsorbents. Through this study, we have demonstrated a possible strategy to give an added value to the coffee pulp waste, a by-product of the coffee processing industry, which is rich in cellulose, inexpensive and renewable source. Indeed, the extracted CMFs are very attractive for developing a sustainable and economically viable bio-sourced material for future growth of cellulose use in advanced applications.

Graphical abstract


Coffee pulp waste Cellulose microfibrils Hydrated cellulose Methylene blue adsorption 



The financial assistance of the Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP S.A.) in the Moroccan Kingdom toward this research is hereby acknowledged. The authors would like to thank Pr. Jones Alami, head of Materials Science and Nanoengineering (MSN) Department of Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), for his help to improve this work.

Supplementary material

10570_2019_2344_MOESM1_ESM.docx (130 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 129 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Materials Science and Nanoengineering (MSN) DepartmentMohammed VI Polytechnic UniversityBenguerirMorocco
  2. 2.IATE, Montpellier SupAgro, INRA, CIRADUniv MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire Matériaux et Systèmes Interfaciaux LMSI, Faculté Des SciencesUniversité Abdelmalek ESSAADITétouanMorocco

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