Extraction and characterization of cellulose microfibers from Retama raetam stems
Abstract Cellulose is the most abundant renewable resource in nature, it has various industrial applications due to its promising properties. Retama raetam is a wild plant belonging to the Fabaceae family, largely abundant in arid area which makes it a good candidate for industrial utilization. In the present study, highly crystalline cellulose microfibers (77.8% CrI) were extracted from Retama Raetam stems as a novel renewable source. The samples underwent a dewaxing process, then the microfibers were extracted using 7 wt% sodium hydroxide followed by a bleaching treatment. The extracted cellulose microfibers were characterized by Scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray Diffraction and thermo-gravimetric analysis.