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.