Physico-chemical Characterization of Native and Microcrystalline Cellulose from Sugarcane Bagasse and Evaluation of the Microcrystalline Cellulose as Directly Compressible Tablet Excipient

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Addis Ababa University


Sugarcane bagasse (SCB) is an abundant agricultural lignocellulose byproduct. In this study, cellulose was extracted from SCB by two methods, by acid treatment with or without dewaxing. Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) was prepared from extracted cellulose by HCl hydrolysis with or without mechanical shearing either by oven or spray drying. Physico-chemical characteristics of cellulose and MCC were assessed. Mechanical properties of plain MCC tablets and dilution capacities of MCC, using paracetamol as a model drug, were also investigated. Cellulose yields on the dry weight basis were found to be 42.8% ± 1.10 and 43.5% ± 0.5 from non-dewaxed and dewaxed SCB, respectively. Whereas, dewaxed SCB cellulose (DSCBC) provided better yield of MCC (DSCB-MCCI) (81.0% ± 0.57) than non-dewaxed SCB cellulose (SCBC) yield of MCC (SCB-MCCI) (70.0% ± 0.90). The degree of polymerization (DP) of SCBC and DSCBC were 580.56 and 592.75, respectively, while DP of MCC preparations ranged from 230.10 - 256.14. Scanning electron microscopy of DSCBC showed characteristic morphology that was fibrous while SEM of DSCB-MCCI revealed it was rod in shape. Both dewaxed cellulose and MCC exhibited better heat stability than non-dewaxed products. The degree of crystallinity values of dewaxed cellulose (77.34%) and MCC (79.56 - 83.00%) were higher than non-dewaxed cellulose (74.50%) and MCC (78.11 - 81.93%). In contrast to non-dewaxed MCC preparation, ether-soluble substances of dewaxed MCC preparations were within the acceptable range. Except MCC prepared without mechanical shearing, all exhibited a monomodal normal particle size distribution. Mechanically sheared dewaxed MCC and Avicel PH-101 had comparable density and flow property. Both plain and paracetamol loaded tablets of spray dried MCC preparations showed significantly higher crushing and tensile strength than respective oven dried MCC preparations. All MCC preparations from SCB showed lower crushing and tensile strengths than Avicel PH-101. The disintegration times and dissolution profiles of all paracetamol loaded tablets prepared from dewaxed SCB-MCC and Avicel PH-101 were comparable and within the acceptable range. However, tablets of non-dewaxed SCB-MCC preparations had prolonged disintegration times and retarded in-vitro dissolution. Therefore, dewaxed SCB could be a promising locally available potential source of cellulose and MCC.



Cellulose, Dilution capacity, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Sugarcane Bagasse