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Controlled deconstruction of cellulosic cell wall by enzymatic action to obtain hydrogels

Grant number: 20/06446-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2020
Effective date (End): December 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Camila Alves de Rezende
Grantee:Helena Carolina Rodrigues Barbieri
Host Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Cellulose nanofibers (CNF) can be extracted from agro-industrial residues and used to produce advanced materials, such as hydrogels. However, the production of CNF demands a lot of energy and the hydrogels that are produced need additives to improve the mechanical properties but commonly add toxicity into the material. Therefore, the purpose of this project will be to produce hydrogels from CNF minimizing the deconstruction of the vegetal cell wall and so keeping it as more in the native form as possible. The biomass compounds, especially lignin, will be used to improve the properties of the material. The sugarcane bagasse will be used due to its high availability as a waste of sugar and alcohol industry and its lower recalcitrance in comparison with other biomasses. The treatment steps to obtain CNF will be carried out with endoglucanases and xylenes due to keeping the biomass structure less altered and without chemical modifications. Nonetheless, the enzymatic action is strongly dependent on interferes, such as lignin. Thus, organosolv treatments using ethanol as solvent will be used to obtain solids with different amounts of lignin, which will be submitted to enzymatic action and further fibrillation. After this, hydrogel films will be prepared and chemical and morphological characterizations will be performed to analyze the viability and possible applications. Thereby, this project aims to contribute to the obtention of hybrid biodegradable materials that use biomass in an integrated way thus reducing production costs. (AU)

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