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The isolation of cellulose nanocrystals from pistachio shells via acid hydrolysis

Marett, Josh, Aning, Alex, Foster, E. Johan
Industrial crops and products 2017 v.109 pp. 869-874
Pistacia vera, acid hydrolysis, agricultural wastes, cellulose, crystal structure, hulls, industry, mechanical properties, nanocomposites, nanocrystals, pistachios, polymers
The pistachio nut (pistacia vera) is a common food source. The shell of the nut has few known applications and is considered a waste product of the agriculture industry (agro waste). In this paper, we show a method for isolating cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) from the pistachio shell. CNCs are well known for having very good mechanical properties which have shown themselves to be effective in many different polymer based nano-composites. We show that common methods of purifying and hydrolyzing cellulose will result in useable CNCs. We found a yield of 50±14wt%, which is rather high for an agro waste product. We found an aspect ratio of 17±3, a crystallinity of 66%, and a surface charge density of 90±12mmol/kg. These numbers compare well with other common commercial sources of CNCs.