European Journal of Wood and Wood Products

, Volume 76, Issue 3, pp 1009–1019 | Cite as

Exploring an oxidative bleaching treatment for Chilean bamboo: a source of cellulose for biofuel generation and the nanotech industry

  • Patricia E. Oliveira
  • Hector Pesenti
  • Ana Gisela Cunha
  • William Gacitúa
  • Ximena Petit-Breuilh


Quila (Chusquea quila) is a very abundant native Chilean bamboo species. This work reports on a delignification process which can be applied to quila to produce crystalline cellulose, an important resource for obtaining cellulose nanofibres or nanocrystals. Alternatively, the crystalline cellulose can then be subjected to fermentation processes, making it a useful raw material for biofuel production. The treatment studied is an oxidative treatment at low concentration (15% v/v), for short time periods (10, 20 min) and at temperatures between 100 and 140 °C, which produces alpha-cellulose fibres with high crystallinity (over 70%) and low residual lignin content (< 2%). The morphology of the cellulose fibres was analysed by scanning electron microscope, revealing a smooth surface containing many fibrils. Infrared spectroscopy was used to identify functional groups, showing that almost 99% of the lignin was removed. The crystallinity index of the cellulose fibres after the reaction was up to 79%, making it an excellent raw material for processing cellulose nanofibres required by the emerging nanotech industry. Carbohydrate analysis revealed 86% glucose and 14% xylose, which makes quila a promising candidate as a precursor for biofuel generation.



This study was supported by the Postgraduate Department of Wood Engineering, Biomaterials and Nanotechnology Center of Bío-Bío University (Chile), and by the Bio-based Products and Advanced Materials Research Centre of the Catholic University of Temuco (Chile).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Postgrado del Departamento de Ingeniería en Maderas, Centro de Biomateriales y NanotecnologíaUniversidad del Bío-BíoConcepciónChile
  2. 2.Facultad de Ciencia de la Ingeniería, Instituto de Materiales y Procesos TermomecánicosUniversidad Austral de ChileValdiviaChile
  3. 3.Department of Forest Products TechnologyAalto UniversityEspooFinland
  4. 4.Escuela de Procesos Industriales, Núcleo de Investigación en Bioproductos y Materiales AvanzadosUniversidad Católica de TemucoTemucoChile

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