This study investigates the effect of silica on sugarcane bagasse (SCB) and softwood (SW) cellulose. Cellulose was extracted from raw SCB and SW chips using a three-step process, namely thermal pre-treatment, alkaline treatment and bleaching treatment. Alkali treated cellulose was then subjected to silica surface modification using the solvent exchange method. The effect of silica modification on SCB and SW cellulos was investigated using X-ray diffractions analysis (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and optical microscope (OPM) techniques. Both the FTIR and XRD results confirm successful extraction of cellulose from both raw fibers and addition of silane functional groups in the cellulose surface. XRD patterns of all samples revealed typical spectra for natural fibers corresponding to crystalline peaks of cellulose and undissolved amorphous hemicellulose respectively. SCB and SW showed similar increasing patterns of crystallinity with nanosilica surface modification. The surface morphology results showed that both SCB and SW cellulose modified with silica were swollen and displayed small particles agglomerating on the surface of the fibers. The solvent exchange method proved to be a successful method for modifying SCB and SW cellulose with nanosilica. It also proved to be cost-efficient and time-efficient.
- Soft wood
- Sugarcane bagasse