Separation of cellulose from agricultural straw is one of the key bottlenecks hindering the application of such kind of biomass resources. In this chapter, we provide three environmental-friendly ways for separation of cellulose from agricultural straw pretreated with steam explosion, which include delignification with recyclable water-polar aprotic organic solvent, selective bio-degradation of the lignin component, and extraction of cellulose with imidazolium-based ionic liquids from the steam-exploded rice straw. The isolated rice straw celluloses have been adopted as an enhancement for all-cellulose composites (ACCs) and cellulose/cement composites. Ultra-high tensile strength (650.2 MPa) can be achieved for the ACCs containing the activated straw cellulose fiber (A-SCF). The cellulose/cement composites show a significant promotion in the flexural strength and fracture toughness. The new nonderivative solvent for cellulose, tetrabutylammonium hydroxide (TBAH) aqueous solution with urea as additives has been proved to be manipulable for dissolving cellulose.
Part of the book: Pulp and Paper Processing