Characterization of microcrystalline cellulose extracted from walnut and apricots shells by alkaline treatment Scientific paper

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Yasmine Mahmoud
Zitouni Safidine
Naima Belhaneche-Bensemra


In this study, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) was isolated from walnut and apricot shells (WS and AS) as agricultural wastes in order to use it as reinforcement in polymer composites. The microcrystalline cellulose was extracted by alkaline treatment and bleached by peroxide as an environ­mentally friendly treatment, called walnut cellulose (WC) and apricot cellulose (AC). The chemical composition of the samples was set according to the Tech­nical Association of Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPP). After treatments, the alpha-cellulose content increased by about 23 % for the two used cellulose sources. The structural and morphological properties of the samples were investigated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy in the attenuated total reflectance mode (ATR-FTIR), optical microscopy (OM), X‑ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The crystallinity index values evalu­ated for WC and AC via X-ray diffraction were 86.4 and 80.3 %, respectively. The alkaline soluble fractions of walnut (ASW) and apricot (ASA) shells were recovered and characterized by OM and ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. Further­more, their chemical composition was analyzed. The characterization and the properties of the WC and AC were similar to those of commercial MCC and MCC prepared in the literature from wood and some agricultural wastes.


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Y. Mahmoud, Z. Safidine, and N. Belhaneche-Bensemra, “Characterization of microcrystalline cellulose extracted from walnut and apricots shells by alkaline treatment: Scientific paper”, J. Serb. Chem. Soc., vol. 86, no. 5, pp. 521–532, Jun. 2021.


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