Interest in hemicelluloses as an alternative to petrochemicals has grown in recent years. Utilizing hemicelluloses in agricultural residues has several advantages. In addition to the fact that hemicelluloses emanate from a renewable resource, the economic benefits of utilizing crop residues more efficiently than at present are substantial. Hemicelluloses can be used in, for example, hydrogels and bio-degradable barrier films for food packaging.
Ultrafiltration, in combination with diafiltration, can be used for downstream processing of hemicelluloses extracted from agricultural residues. Nanofiltration can be used to recover sodium hydroxide when hemicelluloses are extracted by alkaline extraction.
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