This study investigated the optimum processing conditions for obtaining the yield and purity of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) powder obtained from groundnut husk (GH) using response surface methodology (RSM). Central composite design (CCD) was used to evaluate the optimum process conditions for producing MCC from alpha cellulose obtained from GH. The variables investigated for getting the optimum conditions were temperature (81.5 – 98.4o C), hydrolysis time (0.5 – 2.5h) and the concentration ratio of the acid were (4 – 18.7g/ml). Groundnut husk of 1.00mm particle size was selected for the multi – stage pulping method using ethanol and nitric acid in ratio. The FTIR spectra indicated extensive removal of lignin and hemicellulose. The XRD shows that the material is crystalline in nature with two prominent peak, the pH is 6.0 and the physicochemical analysis confirms to the British Standard of Pharmacopeia. The Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that temperature was the most influential factor for hydrolyzing the amorphous sections of cellulose and improving purity. Under optimal conditions, the percentage yield and percentage purity of the alpha cellulose obtained were 73.79% and 88.08% respectively. The theoretical values for the percentage yield of the extracted alpha cellulose were close to the experimental one, resulting in small error percentages of 1.27% and 2.59%, respectively. Thus, it can be concluded that the RSM technique based on CCD design is suitable for optimizing the variables influencing the hydrolyzing of cellulose.
Keywords: Groundnut husk (GH), groundnut husk (Arachis hypogaea), microcrystalline cellulose (MCC)
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