Rice straw‑derived cellulose: a comparative study of various pre‑treatment technologies and its conversion to nanofibres

Sharma Neha , Allardyce Benjamin James , Rangam Rajkhowa , Agrawal Ruchi
Scientific Reports | (2023) 13:16327 | https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-43535-7

Rice straw is a waste product generated after the harvesting of rice crops and is commonly disposed of by burning it off in open fields. This study explored the potential for the extraction and conversion of cellulose to cellulose nanofibres (CNFs) to be used as smart delivery systems for fertilizers applications. In this study, alkali, steam explosion, and organosolv treatments were investigated for cellulose extraction efficiency. The morphological characterization of cellulose showed smooth fibrillar structures. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy represented significant removal of non-cellulosic components in treatments. The crystallinity increased from 52.2 to 65% in CNFs after fibrillation. Cellulose nanofibres (CNFs) had an average diameter of 37.4 nm and − 25.2 mV surface charges as determined by SEM and zeta potential, respectively, which have desired properties for holding fertilizers. Therefore, this study paves the way for value-added uses of rice straw as alternatives to current environmentally harmful practices.

Rice straw, Cellulose nanofibres, Crop residues