[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) method using ethanol was applied for extracting arabinogalactan (AG) and dihydroquercetin (DHQ) simultaneously from larch wood, as a pretreatment for pulping and papermaking. The extraction parameters were optimized by a Box-Behnken experimental design with the yields of AG and DHQ as the response values. Under optimum conditions (three extractions, each using 40% ethanol, for 50 min, 200 W ultrasound power and 1∶18 solid-liquid ratio), the yields of AG and DHQ were 183.4 and 36.76 mg/g, respectively. After UAE pretreated, the wood chips were used for Kraft pulping (KP) and high boiling solvent pulping (HBSP). The pulping yield after pretreatment was higher than that of untreated (the pulping yields of untreated HBSP and KP were 42.37% and 39.60%, and the pulping yields of HBSP and KP after UAE-pretreated were 44.23% and 41.50% respectively), as indicated by a lower kappa number (77.91 and 27.30 for untreated HBSP and KP; 77.01 and 26.83 for UAE-pretreated HBSP and KP). Furthermore, the characteristics of paper produced from pretreated wood chips were superior to those from the untreated chips: the basis weight was lower (85.67 and 82.48 g·cm-2 for paper from untreated KP and HBSP; 79.94 and 80.25 g·cm-2 for paper from UAE-pretreated KP and HBSP), and the tensile strengths, tearing strengths, bursting strengths, and folding strengths were higher than these of paper after UAE-pretreated, respectively.
PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e114105. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0114105 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rod-shaped nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) was prepared from microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) using the purely physical method of high-intensity ultrasonication. Scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction was used for the characterization of the morphology and crystal structure of the material. The thermal properties were investigated using thermogravimetric analysis. The reinforcement capabilities of the obtained NCC were investigated by adding it to poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) via the solution casting method. The results revealed that the prepared NCC had a rod-shaped structure, with diameters between 10 and 20 nm and lengths between 50 and 250 nm. X-ray diffraction results indicated that the NCC had the cellulose I crystal structure similar to that of MCC. The crystallinity of the NCC decreased with increasing ultrasonication time. The ultrasonic effect was non-selective, which means it can remove amorphous cellulose and crystalline cellulose. Because of the nanoscale size and large number of free-end chains, the NCC degraded at a slightly lower temperature, which resulted in increased char residue (9.6-16.1%), compared with that of the MCC (6.2%). The storage modulus of the nanocomposite films were significantly improved compared with that of pure PVA films. The modulus of PVA with 8 wt.% NCC was 2.40× larger than that of pure PVA.