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Title: Breakdown of hierarchical architecture in cellulose during dilute acid pretreatments

Cellulose can work as a feedstock for sustainable bioenergy because of its global abundance. Pretreatment of biomass has significant influence on the chemical availability of cellulose locked in recalcitrant microfibrils. Optimizing pretreatment depends on an understanding of its impact on the microscale and nanoscale molecular architecture. X-ray scattering experiments have been performed on native and pre-treated maize stover and models of cellulose architecture have been derived from these data. Ultra small-angle, very small-angle and small-angle X-ray scattering (USAXS, VSAXS and SAXS) probe three different levels of architectural scale. USAXS and SAXS have been used to study cellulose at two distinct length scales, modeling the fibrils as ~30 Å diameter rods packed into ~0.14 μm diameter bundles. VSAXS is sensitive to structural features at length scales between these two extremes. Detailed analysis of diffraction patterns from untreated and pretreated maize using cylindrical Guinier plots and the derivatives of these plots reveals the presence of substructures within the ~0.14 μm diameter bundles that correspond to grouping of cellulose approximately 30 nm in diameter. These sub-structures are resilient to dilute acid pretreatments but are sensitive to pretreatment when iron sulfate is added. Our results provide evidence of the hierarchical arrangement of cellulose atmore » three length scales and the evolution of these arrangements during pre-treatments.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. Northeastern Univ., Boston, MA (United States)
  2. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
  3. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0969-0239
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Cellulose; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 3
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES cellulose; hierarchical architecture; guinier analysis; multi-angle x-ray scattering