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Nanopaper from almond (Prunus dulcis) shell

Urruzola, Iñaki, Robles, Eduardo, Serrano, Luis, Labidi, Jalel
Cellulose 2014 v.21 no.3 pp. 1619-1629
Prunus dulcis, X-ray diffraction, almonds, atomic force microscopy, autoclaves, cellulose, crystal structure, delignification, ethanol, formic acid, hydrogen peroxide, hydrolysis, lignin, nanofibers, potassium hydroxide, sodium, sodium hydroxide, thermogravimetry
Five pulping methods using different reagents were used for the delignification of almond shells: sodium hydroxide 7.5 % v/v for 24 h at 60 °C, potassium hydroxide 7.5 % v/v for 24 h at 60 °C, formic acid/water 90/10 v/v, organosolv with ethanol/water 60/40 v/v and sodium hydroxide 15 % v/v in an autoclave for 90 min at 120 °C. The resulting cellulose pulps were evaluated using TAPPI standard methods and X-ray diffraction (XRD) to determine the lignin content and crystallinity changes. After pulping, fibers were bleached with sodium chlorite and hydrogen peroxide to obtain pure cellulose. The resulting pulps were characterized by XRD and thermogravimetry to determine the cellulose purification rates and changes in crystallinity. Then, the different pulps were acetylated, hydrolyzed and homogenized to obtain cellulose nanofibers. Nanofiber sizes were assessed by atomic force microscopy and XRD to evaluate the effect of hydrolysis on nanofibers. Finally, nanopaper sheets were produced and the properties were compared to conventional micropaper. The different treatments influenced the amount of lignin eliminated, which had a direct relationship on the subsequent bleaching treatments to obtain pure cellulose. Hence, the different chemical methods influenced the crystallinity of the fibers which also influenced the yield of cellulose nanofibers and different nanopapers.