Vol. 3, Issue 1 (2019)
Physical properties of hemicelluloses films from sugarcane bagasse in Pakistan
Author(s): Ghulam Murtaza, Muhammad Usman
Abstract: Agricultural waste such as sugarcane bagasse can be found in large quantities from sugar and alcohol industries. Generally sugarcane bagasse has been used as a fuel to generate power of sugar mill. Though, an enormous quantity of the remaining bagasse is not used and burnt in the fields which can cause environmental problems. In recent years, many researchers show interest in utilization of agricultural waste to value-added products. Sugarcane bagasse contains about 33.5% hemicelluloses, which can be further utilized to generate other useful applications. The applications of material from hemicelluloses that have been identified include packaging films, food coatings, cationic biopolymers, hydrogels and biomedical uses. The purpose of this study is to build up films from sugarcane bagasse hemicelluloses and to characterize the physical properties of hemicelluloses films. Biodegradable films were developed from hemicelluloses from sugarcane bagasse which was extracted using alkali extraction method. The alkali extraction of hemicelluloses was carried out at optimum condition with 3% NaOH concentration, temperature at 55°C and pH 5.5. Four different volumes of ethanol and acetic acid solution were added to the supernatant to produce hemicelluloses. The hemicelluloses A, B, C and D were obtained from 85ml of ethanol solution containing 10% acetic acid, 85 ml of cold ethanol solution, 4 volumes of ethanol, and 2 volumes of ethanol solution containing 0.2 volumes acetic acid, respectively. Films A, B, C and D were produced by casting the film-forming solutions, followed by solvent evaporation at a temperature of 40°C and relative humidity of 52.9% in a controlled environment. The physical properties such as thickness, solubility, water vapor transfer rate, surface structure and color of the hemicelluloses films from sugarcane bagasse were investigated. All the extracts of hemicelluloses produced self-supporting films with thickness ranging from 0.13 mm - 0.15 mm, 36.9 - 67.1% solubility in water, 250.4 - 483.3 g/(m2.day) water vapor transfer rate (WVTR) and 0.31 - 1.72 MPa of tensile strength. The surface structure and color of the hemicelluloses films A, B, C and D are different probably due to the substance of lignin in each of the film. This study suggests that hemicellulose of sugarcane bagasse has a good potential for production of biodegradable films for certain applications.