Extraction and characterisation of cellulose nanocrystals from pineapple peel

Ana Raquel Madureira, Tuğba Atatoprak, Duygu Çabuk, Flávia Sousa, Robert C. Pullar, Manuela Pintado


The potential of pineapple peel as a source of cellulose nanocrystals was evaluated. Peels skin from fresh-cut fruit was used as raw material. These residues were purified to remove pigments, lipids and hemicellulose, and a bleaching process for delignification was carried out for 4-6 h. All resulting products were characterised for their lignin, hemicellulose, cellulose and ash contents using standard techniques. Dry matter at the end was low (ca. 50%) compared with the raw material (ca. 90%). The process applied resulted in ca. 20% (m/m) of purified cellulose (ca. 80% purity), with ineligible levels of lignin and hemicellulose present, especially when using 6h of bleaching. The purified cellulose was subject to acid hydrolysis for nanocrystal extraction with two testing times, 30 and 60 minutes. These cellulose nanocrystals had small sizes (< 1000 nm), with high variability and negative zeta potential values. The time of extraction did not affect the nanocrystals’ chemical and physical properties. The use of 6 h of bleaching treatment during purification was shown to be more effective than 4 h. Pineapple peel was demonstrated to be a good source of cellulose for the production of cellulose nanocrystals.


cellulose; CNC; pineapple peels

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