Background: Micro-cellulose is the biopolymer derived from cellulose which is most
abundantly available natural polymer, has many advantages such as biodegradability, non-toxicity, and
renewability. However, its commercial production involves extraction of cellulose from wood pulp as
a raw material which causes destruction of forests.
Objective: Objective of this study was substitution of wood pulp as a raw material by a renewable
source i.e. sisal fibers, preparation of micro-cellulose from sisal fibers, and its characterization and
comparison with commercially available wood pulp based micro-cellulose.
Method & Results: The micro-cellulose was prepared by the chemical method of extraction using the
process sequence of delignification of sisal fibers, its bleaching and acid hydrolysis. Characterization
of the extracted micro crystalline cellulose was done and compared with commercial micro crystalline
cellulose in terms of Thermo-gravimetric Analysis, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, X-Ray
Diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Particle Size Analysis. The analysis showed that the
micro-cellulose extracted from the sisal fiber has higher crystallinity and thermal degradation
temperature than commercial micro crystalline cellulose. The extracted micro crystalline cellulose also
retained the fibrous characteristics of the sisal fiber.
Conclusion: Thus, the work demonstrates that successful preparation and characterization of the
micro-cellulose from sisal fibers can be carried out and it opens the possibility of the use of sisal fiber
as a raw material to produce micro crystalline cellulose commercially with reduced load on
environment; sisal fibers being renewable source have lesser renewable time frame than wood pulp.