Exploring an oxidative bleaching treatment for Chilean bamboo: a source of cellulose for biofuel generation and the nanotech industry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Patricia E. Oliveira
  • Hector Pesenti
  • Ana Gisela Cunha
  • William Gacitúa
  • Ximena Petit-Breuilh

Research units

  • Universidad Austral de Chile
  • Universidad Católica de Temuco
  • Universidad del Bío-Bío


Quila (Chusquea quila) is a very abundant native Chilean bamboo species. This work reports on a delignification process which can be applied to quila to produce crystalline cellulose, an important resource for obtaining cellulose nanofibres or nanocrystals. Alternatively, the crystalline cellulose can then be subjected to fermentation processes, making it a useful raw material for biofuel production. The treatment studied is an oxidative treatment at low concentration (15% v/v), for short time periods (10, 20 min) and at temperatures between 100 and 140 °C, which produces alpha-cellulose fibres with high crystallinity (over 70%) and low residual lignin content (< 2%). The morphology of the cellulose fibres was analysed by scanning electron microscope, revealing a smooth surface containing many fibrils. Infrared spectroscopy was used to identify functional groups, showing that almost 99% of the lignin was removed. The crystallinity index of the cellulose fibres after the reaction was up to 79%, making it an excellent raw material for processing cellulose nanofibres required by the emerging nanotech industry. Carbohydrate analysis revealed 86% glucose and 14% xylose, which makes quila a promising candidate as a precursor for biofuel generation.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1019
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Wood and Wood Products
Issue number3
Early online date19 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

ID: 16230252