A novel process for obtaining high quality cellulose acetate from green landscaping waste

Leichang Cao, Gang Luo, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Huihui Chen, Shicheng Zhang, Jianmin Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


As a typical lignocellulosic biomass, abundant amount of green landscaping waste can be used as low-cost feedstock to produce value-added chemicals. This work developed a novel process to obtain industrially important cellulose acetate from green landscaping waste after separation of hemicellulose as a substrate rich in monomeric xylose. Sixteen samples of selected green waste were pretreated with diluted acid at moderate temperatures. Afterwards, the residues were treated with acetic anhydride and a small amount of sulfuric acid as catalyst to make cellulose acetate. The quantity and quality of cellulose acetate were analyzed by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance ( 1H NMR), and Gel Chromatography (GPC). The activation mechanisms of the diluted-phosphoric-acid pretreatment on yields and quality of cellulose acetate were also investigated using Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). Without the pretreatment, the yields of cellulose acetate from green landscaping waste ranged from 4.0% to 8.6%. After the pretreatment the mean yield of cellulose acetate from all sixteen green waste significantly increased to approximately 35%, illustrating the high efficiency and wide applicability of our proposed method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-347
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Acid pretreatment
  • Biomass conversion
  • Biorefinery
  • Cellulose acetate
  • Green waste
  • Xylose and arabinose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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