Cellulose is the most abundant biomass in nature with properties that have enabled its application in different industrial processes. Its derivative, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose serves as an additive in food and non-food products such as desserts, detergents, paints etc. In this study, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) was synthesized from cellulose isolated from three ligno-cellulosic biomass, Tithonia diversifolia stalk (TDS), Musa parasidiaca stem (MPS) and unripe peel of Musa parasidiaca fruit (MPP). The isolation of cellulose was done by soda pulping and bleached using sodium hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hydroxide sequencing, followed by synthesis and purification of CMC. The physicochemical properties of the plant samples, isolated cellulose and bleached pulps including the synthesized CMC were determined. The effects of various processing stages on the properties of the cellulose and synthesized CMC were revealed in the study. CMC yield ranged from 62.57, 41.37 and 33.21% and the degree of substitution ranged from 0.33, 0.28 and 0.17 for TDS, MPS and MPP respectively. Further characterization of CMC using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) confirmed the presence of major expected peaks that showed differences in terms of carboxymethyl substitution as compared to that of commercial CMC. The study revealed the potential of these plants for production of industrial grade CMC.
Key words: Lignocellulosic biomass, cellulose, carboxymethyl cellulose, soda pulping, bleaching, etherification, Tithonia diversifolia, Musa paradisiaca.
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