Physicochemical Properties of Camellia Nut Shell and its Thermal Degradation Characteristics

Jinping Zhang, Zhoulian Wang, Menghao Du, Xiaohua Yao, Lisong Hu

Abstract


Camellia nut shell (CNS) is known as an important bio-resource that has great potential as a biomaterial. The elemental composition, chemical structure, crystallinity, and pyrolysis characteristics were analyzed in this paper for six species of CNS. The concentration of organic carbon, N, K, and Na in CNS ranges from 44.40 to 48.60%, 2.91 to 4.42 mg.g-1, 7.67 to 13.80 mg.g-1, and 0.02 to 0.26 mg.g-1, respectively. The content of lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose, and ash varies between 30.07 and 36.23%, 13.87 and 20.95%, 35.15 and 49.34%, as well as 2.00 and 4.75%, respectively. Camellia nut shell cellulose crystalline structure belongs to typical cellulose type I, and the cellulose crystallinity index for the six species ranges from 37.4 to 62.3%. The CNS pyrolysis process can be divided into three phases, and the substantial degradation occurs within the temperature range of 200 to 430 °C, with nearly 60% loss of weight. The temperature could be reduced greatly during pyrolysis under acidic conditions with PEG 400/glycerol as a solvent. The degradation rate was impacted by K concentration. Increasing cellulose crystallinity negatively affected the degradation rate.

Keywords


Camellia nut shell; Elemental analysis; Chemical composition; Crystallinity index; Thermal degradation

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