Morphological Characterization of Cellulose Microfibres

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Determining the morphological characteristics of plant cellulose microfibres is essential for understanding the molecular structure of plant cell walls. We provides a range of cellulose microfiber morphology characterization services to help customers observe the size, shape and arrangement of cellulose fibrils, providing vital information for the conversion of cellulose into biofuels.

Background

In plants, cellulose molecules made up of glucose usually form fibrous structures and these nanoscale fibrils are embedded in polymermatrices made up of hemicellulose, pectin and sometimes lignin. The physical and chemical properties of cellulosic materials are highly complex and variable due to the degree of polymerization, the number of chains and the way in which they are combined. During plant cell growth and development, the dynamic arrangement and shape of the microfibril network play a key role in maintaining the mechanical properties and physiological function of the cell wall.

Current knowledge of the natural structure of cellulose is largely based on large cellulose crystals of non-plant origin. In plants, the size, shape and arrangement of cellulose microfibres remain poorly elucidated due to the small cross-sectional size of cellulose microfibres, structural heterogeneity, and the limited resolution of the characterization techniques used. Despite the formidable challenges of characterizing the morphology of cellulose microfibres, a variety of biophysically based analytical methods such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) have been widely used to characterize the physicochemical properties of cellulose microfibres.

Microfibril measurement.Fig.1 Microfibril measurement. (Song, 2020)