In the present work, methylcellulose produced from sugar cane bagasse was characterized by FTIR, WAXD, DTA and TGA techniques. Two samples were synthesized: methylcellulose A and methylcellulose B. The only difference in the process was the addition of fresh reactants during the preparation of methylcellulose B. The ratio between the absorption intensities of the C-H stretching band at around 2900 cm-1and O-H stretching at around 3400 cm-1for methylcellulose B is higher than for methylcellulose A, indicating that methylcellulose B showed an increase in the degree of substitution (DS). Methylcellulose A presents a more heterogeneous structure, which is similar to the original cellulose as seen through FTIR and DTA. Methylcellulose B showed thermal properties similar to commercial methylcellulose. The modification of methylcellulose preparation method allows the production of a material with higher DS, crystallinity and thermal stability in relation to the original cellulose and to methylcellulose A. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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