Direct Determination of Cellulosic Glucan Content in Starch-Containing Samples

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13 Scopus Citations


A simple and highly selective analytical procedure is presented for the determination of cellulosic glucan content in samples that contain both cellulose and starch. This method eliminates the unacceptably large compounding errors of current two-measurement methods. If both starch and cellulose are present before analytical hydrolysis, both will be hydrolyzed to glucose causing bias and inaccuracy in the method. To prevent this interference, the removal of starch prior to cellulosic quantification is crucial. The method presented here is a concise in-series procedure with minimal measurements, eliminating large compounding errors. Sample preparation consists of a starch extraction employing enzymatic hydrolysis followed by a simple filtration and wash. The samples are then subjected to a two-stage acid hydrolysis. The concentration of glucose is determined by ion exchange high-performance liquid chromatography with a Pb2+ column and a refractive index detector. The cellulosic glucan content is calculated based on the initial dry weight of the starting material. Data for the native biomass materials studied show excellent reproducibility, with coefficients of variance of 3.0% or less associated with the method. This selectivity for cellulosic glucan by the procedure was validated with several analytical techniques such as liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC–MS), Raman spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1989-2002
Number of pages14
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2800-77078


  • Analytical
  • Biofuels
  • Carbohydrate
  • Cellulose
  • DNP
  • Ethanol
  • Glucose
  • Starch


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