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Hemicellulose–Cellulose Composites Reveal Differences in Cellulose Organization after Dilute Acid Pretreatment

Shah, Riddhi, Huang, Shixin, Pingali, Sai Venkatesh, Sawada, Daisuke, Pu, Yunqiao, Rodriguez, Miguel, Ragauskas, Arthur J., Kim, Seong H., Evans, Barbara R., Davison, Brian H., O’Neill, Hugh
Biomacromolecules 2018 v.20 no.2 pp. 893-903
X-ray diffraction, cell walls, cellulose, crystallites, engineering, glucomannans, models, neutron diffraction, polymers, spectroscopy, xyloglucans
Model hemicellulose–cellulose composites that mimic plant cell wall polymer interactions were prepared by synthesizing deuterated bacterial cellulose in the presence of glucomannan or xyloglucan. Dilute acid pretreatment (DAP) of these materials was studied using small-angle neutron scattering, X-ray diffraction, and sum frequency generation spectroscopy. The macrofibril dimensions of the pretreated cellulose alone were smaller but with similar entanglement of macrofibrillar network as native cellulose. In addition, the crystallite size dimension along the (010) plane increased. Glucomannan–cellulose underwent similar changes to cellulose, except that the macrofibrillar network was more entangled after DAP. Conversely, in xyloglucan–cellulose the macrofibril dimensions and macrofibrillar network were relatively unchanged after pretreatment, but the cellulose Iᵦ content was increased. Our results point to a tight interaction of xyloglucan with microfibrils while glucomannan only interacts with macrofibril surfaces. This study provides insight into roles of different hemicellulose–cellulose interactions and may help in improving pretreatment processes or engineering plants with decreased recalcitrance.