Production of Carboxymethyl Cellulose from Sugarcane Bagasse and Water Hycinth
Mines in Zimbabwe are facing a challenge in acquiring carboxymethyl cellulose because at the moment it is not being produced in the country therefore, mines like ZIMPLATS which focus on platinum mining are facing high costs of importing carboxymethyl cellulose from producing countries like China (US $3500/metric tonne ) according to Alibaba. Various raw materials including plant biomass and algae have been used to produce cellulose. In this work, sugarcane bagasse and water hyacinth were used
... yacinth were used as a raw materials for cellulose extraction. Cellulose was extracted from the biomass through the elimination of lignin and hemicellulose. The preparation of CMC involves two main reactions or steps which are mercization and etherification by a slurry process. In the slurry method, cellulose is suspended in a mixture of NaOH-water-alcohol systems at 20 30 C with an excess of alcohol (ethanol or isopropanol), to ensure a good mixing efficiency. In the mercerization process, the liquid phase (water-alcohol mixture) which acts as a solvent, dissolves the NaOH and distributes it evenly to the cellulose hydroxyl groups forming alkali cellulose. Furthermore, the alkali cellulose produced is reactive towards monochloroacetate acid (MCA), which is added in the second step either as free acid, MCA or its salt, sodium monochloroacetate acid (NaMCA) to form carboxymethyl cellulose ethers. The results indicated that the optimum concentration of sodium hydroxide for alkalization to occur is 30% .The carboxymethylation process of cellulose was confirmed using potentiometric back titration and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy.The percentage yield was 85,2%.