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

Cellulose 13/2020

Swelling and dissolution kinetics of natural and man-made cellulose fibers in solvent power tuned ionic liquid

Journal:
Cellulose > Issue 13/2020
Authors:
Feng Chen, Daisuke Sawada, Michael Hummel, Herbert Sixta, Tatiana Budtova
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Abstract

The kinetics of the dissolution and swelling of different cellulose fibers in the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([EMIM][OAc]) was studied by varying solvent power and temperature. Natural fiber, flax, and man-made fibers, Cordenka and Lyocell-type (Ioncell) were used with one Ioncell fiber containing lignin and hemicelluloses. Through the addition of water, the solvent power was modified from very good (neat ionic liquid), to moderate (with 5 wt% water) and weak (15 wt% water). The temperature was varied to correlate the fiber dissolution rate with the solvent viscosity. All fibers were characterized by chemical composition, crystallinity, molecular weight distribution and dynamic vapor sorption. It was demonstrated that while the rate of fiber dissolution in neat ionic liquid depends on fiber accessibility and solvent viscosity, the water-induced decreased solvent power dominates the general fiber behavior. Flax appeared to be the most “sensitive” to the solvent power due to its hierarchical structure. The fastest dissolution or swelling was recorded for Ioncell and the slowest for Cordenka.

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