Main Article Content
Cellulose is an abundant renewable biodegradable polymer regarded as a promising feedstock for chemical productions with its versatility evaluated as a useful structural and functional material for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. It is a straight chain polymer which appears in cell walls of most plant and consists of D. glucose units, with absence of coiling or branching and can be derived from variety of sources including: annual plants, microbes, animals etc. Three basic types of cellulose often exist in nature as - alpha (α), beta (β) and gamma (ϒ). Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) sourced from cellulose, occurs as a purified and partially depolymerized alpha cellulose from plant parts such as D. arborea stem possibly by severe acid or alkaline hydrolysis. D. arborea plant is a palm – like tree of 1.5m height with several branches, often used as a boundary mark, a non-selective habitat and belongs to the family Asparagaceae, sub family Nolinoideae. With alkali hydrolysis of the D. arborea stem, the percentage yield of MCC from the alpha cellulose is 54.32%. Physicochemical analysis of the MCC reveals it to have a pH of 7.80 and physicotechnical analysis resulted in values as recommended in the official monogragh. Proximate principles of the extracted MCC, depicted percentage fiber content as 65.78% and low lipid and protein content as 0.6 and 0.4% respectively. Elemental analysis shows the composition of sodium and iron as 41% and 35% respectively but absence of lead and other deleterious materials. FTIR analysis suggests the presence of carbonyl groups, 6- membered cyclic ring (aromatic structure) with ortho and meta - OH substitution and long aliphatic chains. The x-ray diffraction study gave a percentage crystalinity index of 6.02 at 2q = 22 and 2q = 34.
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