Benzylated pulps from sugar cane bagasse


An optimized ethanol/water process has been employed for the pulping of fibres from sugar cane bagasse. After pretreatment with aqueous NaOH, unbleached pulps were subjected to benzylation at 110 °C for different periods of time. The resulting purified products were characterized by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and infrared spectroscopy (IR). The results showed that benzylation proceeded to various extents depending on the reaction time, as assessed by weight gain. During the first 3 h, a loss of mass was observed due to the occurrence of benzylation of low molecular weight polyoses, which were eliminated in the purification step. After that period of time a drastic weight increase was observed probably because crystalline regions had developed. The samples with low degrees of benzylation were insoluble, whereas the more benzylated counterparts showed limited solubility in THF. Partially soluble samples and a completely soluble one showed very different GPC elution profiles. This may be attributed to the efficiency of the pre treatment which, in the latter case, employed more concentrated alkali. Thermogravimetric analyses showed that all samples were degraded above 310 °C. Glass transition temperatures ranged between 42 °C and 65 °C, increasing as the extent of benzylation increased

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Correspondence to S. P. CAMPANA FILHO.

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PEREIRA, R., CAMPANA FILHO, S.P., CURVELO, A.A.S. et al. Benzylated pulps from sugar cane bagasse. Cellulose 4, 21 (1997).

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  • bagasse pulp
  • benzylation
  • Tg
  • cellulosicthermoplastics