NC State
Siqueira, G., Bras, J., and Dufresne, A. (2010). "Luffa cylindrica as a lignocellulosic source of fiber, microfibrillated cellulose, and cellulose nanocrystals," BioRes. 5(2), 727-740.


In this work the annual plant called Luffa cylindrica (LC) has been characterized and used to prepare macroscopic lignocellulosic fibers and cellulosic nanoparticles, viz. microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) and whiskers, each of which can be used as a reinforcing phase in bionanocomposites. The morphological, chemical, and physical properties of LC fibers were first characterized. The contents of lignin, hemicellulose, and other constituents were determined, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations were performed to investigate the surface morphology of the LC fibers. Sugars contents were determined by ionic chromatography, and it was shown that glucose was the main sugar present in the residue. MFC and whiskers were prepared after chemical treatments (NaOH and NaClO2), purifying cellulose by eliminating lignin and hemicellulose. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and SEM made it possible to determine the dimensions of LC whiskers and MFC. Tensile tests were carried out to investigate the mechanical properties of LF nanoparticles.
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