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How Alkaline Solvents in Viscosity Measurements Affect Data for Oxidatively Damaged Celluloses: Cupri-Ethylenediamine

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posted on 2019-10-23, 19:36 authored by Kyujin Ahn, Sara Zaccaron, Thomas Rosenau, Antje Potthast
Although efficient and inexpensive, conventional viscometry to determine the average degree of polymerization (DP) of cellulose may mislead the final DP because cellulose degradation occurs in the used solvents, which consist of alkaline amino complexes of transition metals, such as cupri-ethylenediamine (CED). For oxidatively damaged pulps or celluloses, viscosity-DP determinations may be more inaccurate because alkali-induced β-elimination reactions render such oxidized celluloses even more vulnerable. Despite the risk identified in many studies, a systematic investigation of the parameters affecting the viscosity-DP assessed by reliable analytics is still required. Here, a new approach evaluating the effects of CED on oxidized cellulosics was used (i.e., immediate pulp regeneration after dissolution in CED). In-depth molecular feature characterization (e.g., absolute molar masses and oxidized groups’ profiling related to molecular weight distribution) by gel permeation chromatography coupled with fluorescence and multiangle laser light scattering clarified the behavior of oxidized celluloses and the influencing parameters upon dissolution in CED.

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