Prieto-García, F., Jiménez-Muñoz, E., Acevedo-Sandoval, O.A., Rodríguez-Laguna, R., Canales-Flores, R.A., Prieto-Méndez, J., Obtaining and Optimization of Cellulose Pulp from Leaves of Agave tequilana Weber Var. Blue. Preparation of Handmade Craft Paper. Waste and Biomass Valorization, 10 (2019) 2379-2395. DOI: 10.1007/s12649-018-0262-5
Cellulose pulp was obtained by two processes, alkaline (NaOH) and acid (Organosolv), from residual leaves of Agave tequilana. The objective of this work was to find an added value to the agave leaves, which are a waste of the tequila industry in Mexico. In the acid pulping method, higher cellulose yields were obtained than in the alkaline pulping method; however, the decrease in the content of lignin (34?62%) or of the hemicelluloses present in the precursor was not achieved, even after bleaching. In the alkaline pulping method, lower cellulose yields were obtained; after bleaching, 95?98% of the lignin and all of the hemicelluloses were removed. The XRD patterns showed that the percentage of crystallinity of both pulps was similar with values of 49.88% for the alkaline pulping and 48.43% for the acid pulping. It was found that the percentage of moisture absorption is related to the percentage of crystallinity and the content of hemicelluloses, since when the percentage of crystallinity decreases the content of hemicelluloses and the percentage of moisture absorption increases. The papers obtained by the alkaline pulping method showed a lower percentage of humidity and greater tension resistance.