HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Baltimore, Maryland, USA or Virtually from your home or work.
Uroosa Ejaz, Speaker at Materials Science and Engineering Conference
Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology, Pakistan
Title : Cellulose extraction from phragmites karka and its conversion into nano-fibers


Halophytic biomass is an abundant source of polysaccharides as they have a boundless supply of carbohydrates, which could be thought as the ultimate substrate and can be renewed into valuable chemicals and compounds such as methylcellulose and cellulosic nanofibers. Polyvinyl alcohol/methylcellulose composites (cellulosic nanofibers) have attracted considerable attention due to the synergic relation between the two polymers and developing novel blends with improved properties. On one hand, carboxy methyl cellulose (CMC) has high biocompatibility and biodegradability and has poor mechanical properties. On the other hand, poly vinyl alcohal is a versatile polymer with higher mechanical properties compared to CMC. The blending of the two polymers can help to benefit from the individual component properties. Cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) applications as composites can be in coatings and films as well as packaging, foams and paints. CNFs also have applications in hygiene and absorbent products such as super water absorbent material, non-woven products, super absorbent polymers, antimicrobial films and absorbent structures. Other applications are in manufacturing highly scattering material for ultra-white coatings, corrosion inhibitors, capacitors, lightweight body armor and ballistic glass, computer components, loud-speaker membranes, reinforcement of conductive materials, battery separators and high-flux membranes. Therefore, this study was designed to use halophytic plant, Phragmites karka to extract cellulose and its conversion into cellulosic nanofibers. Chemical extraction of pectin, hemicellulose, lignin and cellulose were performed. Extracted cellulose was methylated by using Dimethyl sulphate, acetone and sodium hydroxide. Furthermore, methylated cellulose was converted in to Methylcellulose/PVA composite. The structural changes in CNFs were observed by scanning electron microscopy. Results confer that degree of substitution of methylcellulose was 3 which showed the improvement in commercial applicability of the polymer. Therefore, the synthesized methylcellulose/PVA nanofibers will enhance the value to the abundant halophytic plant, Phragmite karka, and extend their range of biomedical applications.

Audience Take Away Notes:

  • In the 21st century, the increasing of environmental crisis caused by nonbiodegradable/nonrenewable material has pushed towards the development of new types of degradable and green bio-based materials from natural sources for various engineering applications. For that movement, cellulose is one of the representative bio-materials that is abundantly existed in natural plant. Formation of cost-effective cellulose nano fibers from traditional natural halophytic plant. Plant-based nanomaterials have advantages over other nanomaterials because they are biodegradable, biocompatible, and generally recognized as safe by FDA. These advantages are important for their applications in different sectors.


Uroosa Ejaz is a highly motivated researcher with a MPhil in Microbiology and over 06 years of research experience. She has published 18 research articles in well reputed International Journals and also wrote 05 book chapters sponsored by Springer and Elsevier. She has work experience from Agha Khan University and Hospital, Patel Hospital, Bahria University and University of Karachi. She also worked as a research assistant in HEC funded NRPU project. Currently, she is serving as a Lecturer at SZABIST and she is also a PhD scholar in University of Karachi, Pakistan.