Finally Dissolved! Activation Procedures to Dissolve Cellulose in DMAc/LiCl Prior to Size Exclusion Chromatography Analysis – A Review
Ute Henniges, Philipp Vejdovszky, Martin Siller, Myung-Joon Jeong, Thomas Rosenau and Antje Potthast
Affiliation: University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Department of Chemistry and Christian-Doppler Laboratory “Advanced cellulose chemistry and analytics”, Konrad-Lorenz Straße 24, A-3430 Tulln an der Donau, Austria.
This review describes several methods for activating cellulose so that it dissolves in N,Ndimethylacetamide/
lithium chloride and can then be analyzed by size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and light scattering
for the determination of molar mass and molar mass distribution (MMD). This contribution lists the effects of these
methods and approaches on the molar mass distribution of cellulose. Cellulose I and cellulose II behave differently and
are considered separately. The activation procedures are grouped according to mechanical, chemical, and biological
mechanisms. The mechanical processes include milling, freeze drying, steam explosion, and ultrasonic treatment, while
chemical mechanisms are heating, irradiation, alkaline pretreatment, and derivatization strategies are discussed. Treatments
with ethylene diamine and ionic liquids are also summarized from chemical aspects. Enzymes represent the biological
strategy for treating solubility problems involving cellulose. These activation mechanisms are reviewed with regard
to their efficiency, effect on MMD, and possible side reactions.
Keywords: Accessibility, activation, derivatization, dissolution, enzyme, ethylene diamine, freeze-drying, heating, hornification,
hydrogen bond, irradiation, milling, sodium borohydrate, sodium hydroxide, solvent exchange, steam explosion, swelling,
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