Extraction of hemicellulose as prebiotic xylo-oligosaccharide in the process of obtaining nanocellulose from sugarcane bagasse

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To apply the concept of biorefinery to the process of nanocellulose production from sugarcane bagasse, this work aims to extract the hemicellulosic fraction of the bagasse as xylo-oligosaccharides (XOS) with prebiotic properties, a high-value product. With the aid of an experimental statistical design, process conditions for the selective solubilization of hemicellulose as XOS was studied by assessing the effect of temperature, time and acid concentration. The best condition to produce XOS with high yield and selectivity was 190 ° C for 5.5 minutes and no acid addition. No correlation was found between process conditions and XOS properties like acetylation, and important parameter for XOS as prebiotic. In conclusion, it was possible to tailor the hemicellulose extraction step in the sugarcane bagasse-to-nanocellulose process to selectively produce high levels of XOS.