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03-07-2020 | Original Research | Issue 13/2020

Cellulose 13/2020

Influence of water on the intrinsic characteristics of cellulose dissolved in an ionic liquid

Journal:
Cellulose > Issue 13/2020
Authors:
Mitsuharu Koide, Hiroshi Urakawa, Kanji Kajiwara, Thomas Rosenau, Isao Wataoka
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Abstract

The local structure of cellulose, dissolved in the frequently used ionic liquid EMIm-OAc, is modelled by a coaxial double layer cylinder. The cylinder’s core consists of a cellulose chain while the sheath is formed by a solvent layer with lower electron density than the bulk solvent. We studied 2% cellulose solutions in EMIm-OAc and their behavior upon addition of increasing amounts of water. At this cellulose concentration, 15 wt% of water induced the precipitation of cellulose. Water molecules did not form an independent phase, but were bound to EMIm-OAc in the cellulose/water/EMIm-OAc solution. The conformational of a cellulose chain changes by adding water into the solution, and the square of the apparent cross-sectional radius of gyration of the cellulose chain becomes zero to negative. This phenomenon is explained by the formation of a solvation shell with lower electron density than the bulk solvent around the cellulose chain.

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