Document Type : Research Paper
P.O. BOX 132662 Inanda Newtown
Departments Engineering & The Built Environment, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
A hemicellulose is any of several heteropolymers , such as arabinoxylans, present along with cellulose in almost all plant cell walls. Hemicellulose has a random, amorphous structure with little strength. It is easily hydrolyzed by dilute acid or base as well as myriad hemicellulase enzymes. In this study, lignin and hemicellulose was extracted from sugarcane bagasse using the ammonium hydrolysis process. The extraction of hemicellulose was carried out at 250C (room temperature) with 25% Ammonia Solution. The sugarcane bagasse extract was used together with starch to produce thin films. The films were characterized using Fourier transformed infrared (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The FT-IR and XRD analysis of the films confirmed the presence of hemicellulose and lignin. The TGA shows an average of 16.75% and 50.61% for lignin and hemicellulose respectively. The crystallinity index values obtained from XRD showed that film materials were amorphous and have higher values when compared with untreated SCB, due to the partial removal of hemicellulose after ammonium hydrolysis treatment.