Production of high-purity cellulose, cellulose acetate and cellulose-silica composite from babassu coconut shells.


Laboratory of Carbon and Ceramic Materials, Department of Physics, Federal University of Espírito Santo, 29075-910 Vitória, ES, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


Lignocellulosic biomass has been widely studied as a source of cellulose- and related products, attracting the great interest of researchers dealing with renewable energy sources, vegetable waste recycling and biomaterials. In this work, the babassu coconut shells (epicarp and endocarp) were used for the achievement of products such as cellulose, cellulose acetate and cellulose-silica composite, which were chemically and structurally characterized by solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy, among other techniques. As this precursor also naturally contains a significant amount of silica, a composite containing cellulose fibers mixed with amorphous silica particles (with rosette-like shape) was also produced. Finally, the possibility of synthesis of cellulose acetate was also demonstrated, illustrating the plethora of potential applications of this important lignocellulosic residue for the production of cellulose-based materials of high technological interest.