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Friday, January 09, 2015

A Comparative Kinetic Study of Acidic Hydrolysis of Wastes Cellulose from Agricultural Derived Biomass - Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management, Vol. 15, No. 4

Agricultural waste has been an issue for farmers throughout the world, specifically, the conversion of said waste into useful resources to further development, both socially and economically. The Guardian's recent publication: "Rice waste makes 'green wood' to build low-cost homes in India", outlines this very issue. The article takes into account the negative externalities from the production of rice and how a young girl from India has - essentially - thought of a way to counter this problem. The 16 year-old girl from Delhi, decided after seeing the amount of waste that was produced from the production of rice: that she could search for a way to use the rice husks to contribute to the growth of her community, which allowed for her to create a positive, rather than a negative external cost of production and to a more sustainable community, overall.

Today's featured journal: "A Comparative Kinetic Study of Acidic Hydrolysis of Wastes Cellulose From Agricultural Derived Biomass" by Ajani et al., studies the use of bioconversion of agricultural waste in order to produce economically and environmentally sustainable chemicals and fuels that have a significant advantage over traditional fossil- based products.

For this study, the authors of this journal observed the kinetics of acid hydrolysis cellulose that was isolated from banana skin, cowpea shells, maize stalks and rice husks at temperatures ranging between 70 - 100°c in a stirred conical flask, which served as a batch reactor. The effects of acid concentration on cellulose hydrolysis were also taken into consideration while conducting this study. 

The results showed that the rate of hydrolysis by virtue of glucose yield, generally increased with increase in temperature and acid concentration for all four of the agricultural wastes used. The experimental data was fitted to integrated first-order rate kinetics, and the results obtained suggested a first-order rate of glucose formation for the four agricultural waste cellulose used.

The activation energy estimated while using a Arrhenius equation was 39.60 kJ/mole for banana skin cellulose. While the use of cowpea shells' cellulose revealed an estimated 38.83 KJ/mole and 34.29 KJ/mole for rice husk cellulose. Maize stock cellulose yielded the highest amount of energy at 44.37 KJ/mole. These values suggest the ease with which hydrolysis can occur between the four agricultural wastes' cellulose.  

For this journal and others from this issue, click here.

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