Unravelling the distinct crystallinity and thermal properties of suberin compounds from Quercus suber and Betula pendula outer barks


The main purpose of this study was to investigate the potential of suberin (a naturally occurring aromatic-aliphatic polyester ubiquitous to the vegetable realm) as a renewable source of chemicals and, in particular, to assess their physical properties. A comparison between cork and birch suberin fragments obtained by conventional depolymerisation processes (hydrolysis or methanolysis) is provided, focusing essentially on their thermal and crystallinity properties. It was found that suberin fragments obtained by the hydrolysis depolymerisation of birch had a high degree of crystallinity, as indicated by their thermal analysis and corroborated by the corresponding XRD diffractions, as opposed to hydrolysis-depolymerised cork suberin counterparts, which were essentially amorphous. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.



subject category

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Chemistry; Polymer Science


Sousa, AF; Gandini, A; Caetano, A; Maria, TMR; Freire, CSR; Neto, CP; Silvestre, AJD

our authors


The authors are grateful to Professor M. E. S. Eusebio of University of Coimbra, Portugal, for valuable assistance in the polarised-light thermal microscopy analysis studies. FCT (Fundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia) and POPH/FSE are also acknowledge for the postdoctoral grants to AFS (SFRH/BPD/73383/2010); and research grant to CSRF (IF/01407/2012) under the program Investigador FCT 2012'. This work was developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials (Ref. FCT UID/CTM/50011/2013), financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC and, when appropriate, co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement.

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