Valorization of banana waste by optimizing nitrocellulose production, yield, and solubility via nitrating acid mixtures and reaction time

Main Article Content

Maria Hassan
Afia Zia
Muhammad Numan Ahmad
Muhammad Baseer Us Salam
Maria Siraj
Shahida Sabir
Tahir Naveed Farooq
Tariq Aziz
Abdulrahman Alshammari



The current research investigated the conversion of banana stem waste into cellulose nitrate, a potential bioplastic precursor. The research is of prime importance in terms of environmental pollution and sustainable development goals. The study aimed to isolate cellulose from banana stems, synthesize nitrocellulose, and assess its stability. Two different methods, that is, Method A, comprising HNO3 and H2SO4, and Method B, comprising HNO3 and P2O5, were applied to synthesize nitrocellulose, each using different acidic mixtures. Method A resulted in high nitrocellulose yield and higher nitrogen content but lower cellulose content. On the other hand, method B yielded nitrocellulose with a lower nitrogen content but higher cellulose content. It was found that composition of  nitrating acid mixture, nitrating time, and ratio of nitrating acid–cellulose material influenced the yield and solubility of nitrocellulose. The highest yield of nitrocellulose was obtained using a 60:1 ratio of nitrating acid–cellulose material in method A and a 100:1 ratio of the same in method B after 90-min nitration time. It was also observed that nitrocellulose A was soluble in acetone and pyridine whereas nitrocellulose B was soluble in 1,4-dioxane, esters, and pyridine. Overall, the study demonstrated the feasibility of converting banana stem waste into a bioplastic precursor.

Abstract 78 | PDF Downloads 49 XML Downloads 8 HTML Downloads 0


Abraham, E., Deepa, B., Pothan, L.A., Jacob, M., Thomas, S., Cvelbar, U. and Anandjiwala, R. 2011. Extraction of nanocellulose fibrils from lignocellulosic fibres: a novel approach. Carboh Polym. 86(4): 1468–1475.
Adekunle, I.M. 2010. Production of cellulose nitrate polymer from sawdust. J Chem. 7: 709–716.
Alinat, E., Delaunay, N., Costanza, C., Archer, X. and Gareil, P. 2014. Determination of the nitrogen content of nitrocellulose by capillary electrophoresis after alkaline denitration. Talanta. 125: 174–180.
Aziz T, Qadir R, Anwar F, Naz S, Nazir N, Nabi G, Haiying C, Lin L, Alharbi M, Alasmari AF. 2024. Optimal Enzyme-Assisted Extraction of Phenolics from Leaves of Pongamia pinnata via Response Surface Methodology and Artificial Neural Networking. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 22, 1-8.
Aziz T, Shah Z, Sarwar A, Ullah N, Khan AA, Sameeh MY, Haiying C, Lin. 2023. Production of bioethanol from pretreated rice straw, an integrated and mediated upstream fermentation process. Biomass Conv. Bioref. 2023, 1-8..
Cheung, C. 2014. Studies of the Nitration of Cellulose-Application in New Membrane Materials. Doctoral dissertation, University of British Columbia.
Gismatulina, Y.A., Budaeva, V.V. and Sakovich, G.V. 2018. Nitrocellulose synthesis from miscanthus cellulose. Propellants Explos Pyrotech (PEP). 43(1): 96–100.
Jesuet, M.S.G., Musa, N.M., Idris, N.M., Musa, D.N.S. and Bakansing, S.M. 2019. Properties of nitrocellulose from Acacia mangium. J Phy Conf Sr. 1358(1): 012035. IOP Publishing.
John, J., Archana, K.S., Thomas, A.M., Thomas, R.L., Thomas, J., Thomas, V. and Unnikrishnan, N.V. 2024. Nitrocellulose unveiled: a brief exploration of recent research progress. Sustain Chem Eng. 5(1): 147–168.
Kopania, E., Wietecha, J. and Ciechańska, D. 2012. Studies on isolation of cellulose fibres from waste plant biomass. Fibres Text East Eur. 6B(96): 167–172.
Li, K., Fu, S., Zhan, H., Zhan, Y. and Lucia, L. 2010. Analysis of the chemical composition and morphological structure of banana pseudo-stem. BioResources. 5(2): 576–585.
Lohmousavi, S.M., Abad, H.H.S., Noormohammadi, G. and Delkhosh, B. 2020. Synthesis and characterization of a novel controlled release nitrogen-phosphorus fertilizer hybrid nanocomposite based on banana peel cellulose and layered double hydroxides nanosheets. Arab J Chem. 13(9): 6977–6985.
Mattar, H., Baz, Z., Saleh, A., Shalaby, A.S., Azzazy, A.E., Salah, H. and Ismail, I. 2020. Nitrocellulose: structure, synthesis, characterization, and applications. Water Energy Food Environ J. 3: 1–15.
Qiu, S., Yang, H., Zhang, S., Huang, S., Zhao, S., Xu, X., He, P., Zhou, W., Zhao, Y., Yan, N. and Nikolaidis, N., 2023. Carbon storage in an arable soil combining field measurements, aggregate turnover modeling and climate scenarios. Catena. 220: 106708.
Sundarraj, A.A. and Ranganathan, T.V. 2018. A review on cellulose and its utilization from agro-industrial waste. Drug Invent Today. 10(1): 89–94.
Shouket S, Khurshid S, Khan J, Batool R, Sarwar A, Aziz T, Alhomrani M, Alamri AS, Sameeh MY, Zubair Filimban F. 2023. Enhancement of shelf-life of food items via immobilized enzyme nanoparticles on varied supports. A sustainable approach towards food safety and sustainability. Food Res Int. 169:112940.
Tonkinson, J.L. and Stillman, B.A. 2002. Nitrocellulose: a tried and true polymer finds utility as a post-genomic substrate. Front Biosci. 7(3): c1–c12.
Yi, J., Li, H., Zhao, Y., Zhang, H. and Liu, M. 2022. Assessing soil water balance to optimize irrigation schedules of flood-irrigated maize fields with different cultivation histories in the arid region. Agric Water Manag. 265: 107543.
Zhang, T., Song, B., Han, G., Zhao, H., Hu, Q., Zhao, Y. and Liu, H. 2023. Effects of coastal wetland reclamation on soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus in China: a meta-analysis. Land Degrad Develop. 34(11): 3340–3349.