Sustainable and Economical Production of Biocellulose from Agricultural Wastes in Reducing Global Warming and Preservation of the Forestry
Preservation of the forestry, particularly trees, is essential in managing global warming. However, excessive use of trees for cellulose-based products has continuously depleted world’s forest resources. Nowadays, around 14 % of deforestation is caused by logging for the production of wood cellulose-based products. Many scientists predicted that in 2030, only 10 % of the mature tropical forest will remain. In the era of declining forest resources and expansion of industrialization, it is a worthwhile effort to consider an alternative source of plant cellulose i.e. bacterial cellulose or biocellulose. Biocellulose produced by bacterial fermentation method using various substrates has been proven to be a remarkably versatile biomaterial for a variety of cellulose-based products. Interestingly, the highest cellulose worldwide demands are in the pharmaceutical sector with an annual demand of 30,000 tons. For Malaysia, as a country with vast agricultural areas, the use of generated agricultural wastes such as palm oil mill effluent, pineapple and sugarcane as a fermentation medium can not only avoid environmental pollution but also reduce the production cost. In fact, the use of agricultural wastes as a fermentation medium has proven to reduce 20 % of carbon sources supply for fermentation. In this respect, biocellulose production can play an important role in reducing global warming and preservation of nature.