Opportunities for Ivory Nut Residue Valorization as a Source of Nanocellulose Colloidal Suspensions

Enrique Javier Carvajal-Barriga, Jean Luc Putaux, Pablo Martín-Ramos, Jennifer Simbaña, Patricia Portero-Barahona, Jesús Martín-Gil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Ivory nut seeds have been traditionally exploited in Central and South America for obtaining vegetable ivory. The residues from this industry are susceptible to valorization as a source of fatty acids (by organic extraction) and mannans (by alkaline dissolution and regeneration). Nonetheless, cellulose may also be recovered at the end of this fractionation process by acid hydrolysis and functionalization, with associated advantages over other lignocellulosic sources due to the absence of lignin in the endospermic tissue. In this work, various experimental parameters (sulfuric acid concentration, temperature, and hydrolysis time) were investigated to optimize the processing conditions for preparing stable nanocellulose suspensions after ultrasonication. The most stable nanocellulose gel (1 wt% solid content) was obtained after 4-h hydrolysis at 60 °C with 8 M H2SO4 and was characterized by using complementary tech-niques, including dynamic light scattering (DLS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), nano-fibril sulfation measurements, vibrational and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (CP/MAS 13C-NMR) spectroscopies, and thermal analysis. This nanocellulose hydrogel is susceptible to further utilization in various applications and fields, e.g., in agricul-ture for controlling the release of agrochemicals, in pharmaceutics for developing new dosage forms, and in the treatment of wastewater from the textile and paper industries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

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  • Phytelephas aequatorialis
  • fractionation
  • ivory nut
  • mannan
  • nanocellulose


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