NC State
Sim, S. F., Mohamed, M., Mohd Irwan Lu, N. A. L., P. Sarman, N. S., and Samsudin, S. N. S. (2012). "Computer-assisted analysis of Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectra for characterization of various treated and untreated agriculture biomass," BioRes. 7(4), 5367-5380.


A computational approach was used to analyze the FTIR spectra of a wide range of treated and untreated lignocellulosic biomass (coconut husk, banana trunk, sago hampas, rice husk, and empty fruit bunch). The biomass was treated with strong sulphuric acid and NaOH, respectively. A total of 87 spectra were obtained in which the absorption bands were de-convoluted automatically, generating a peak table of 87 rows and 60 columns. Square roots were taken of the peak values, with further standardization prior to Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for data exploration. In a scores plot, the treated and untreated biomass were distinguishable along the two main axes, PC1 and PC2. Examining the absorption bands corresponding to lignocellulosic components indicated that the acid pretreatment had resulted in dissolution and degradation of hemicelluloses and lignin, confirmed typically by disappearance of bands. The alkali treatment however was not as rigorous as the acid treatment, as some characteristic bands of hemicelluloses and lignin were enhanced, suggesting condensation of the degraded polysaccharides. The computer-assisted analysis of the FTIR spectra allowed efficient and simultaneous comparisons of lignocellulosic compositions present in various treated and untreated biomass. This represents an improvement relative to the conventional methods, since a large dataset can be handled efficiently and individual peaks can be examined.
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