The amount of non-cellulosic glucans in Eucalyptus globulus wood (approx. 4.5%) was assessed by extraction of sawdust with a 0.5 M NaOH solution at 90–120°C and the structural features were elucidated in a glucan-enriched polysaccharide fraction isolated by hot water extraction (120°C, 2 h). Isolated soluble glucans were characterized by wet chemistry methods and a set of 1D and 2D NMR techniques. The major proportion of glucans consisted of amylose (20%) and amylopectin (80%), although a small proportion of β-(1→3)-glucan (<0.2% on wood weight) was also detected. Although glucans are easily removed in the initial phase of kraft pulping, notable amounts were found in unbleached pulp and it was supposed that in the final stage of kraft pulping a fraction of α-glucan is precipitated onto the fiber surface and contributes to the pulp yield.
©2007 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York