Arabinoxylan and Nanocellulose from a Kilogram-scale Extraction of Barley Husk

Mikaela Börjesson, Linda Härdelin, Filip Nylander, Kristina Karlsson, Anette Larsson, Gunnar Westman


Processes of extracting hemicellulose from annual plants usually neglect the cellulose fraction. This study explored the possibility of obtaining both a hemicellulose and a cellulose fraction of sufficient quality for further use, with barley husks used as the raw material. An alkaline extraction was used to isolate the biopolymers by a process in which sodium dithionite replaced the traditional sodium borohydride as the reducing agent. The cellulose fraction was successfully transformed into nanocellulose by sulfuric acid hydrolysis, and the obtained hemicellulose (i.e., arabinoxylan) displayed carbohydrate composition characteristics similar to those previously reported in the literature for processes of extracting hemicellulose from barley husks. Using this methodology, both the cellulose and hemicellulose can be isolated in high quantities of dry material and used for transformation into new bio-based materials.


Hemicellulose; Arabinoxylan; Barley husk; Alkali extraction; Nanocellulose; Cellulose nanocrystals

Full Text: PDF

Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126