Impact of solvent quality on the network strength and structure of alginate gels
Journal article, 2016

The influence of the mixture of water and alcohols on the solubility and properties of alginate and its calcium-induced gels is of interest for the food, wound care and pharmaceutical industries. The solvent quality of water with increasing amounts of ethanol (0-20%) on alginate was studied using intrinsic viscosity. The effect of ethanol addition on the rheological and mechanical properties of calcium alginate gels was determined. Small-angle X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy were used to study the network structure. It is shown that the addition of ethanol up to 15% (wt) increases the extension of the alginate chain, which correlates with increased moduli and stress being required to fracture the gels. The extension of the polymer chain is reduced at 20% (wt) ethanol, which is followed by reduced moduli and stress at breakage of the gels. The network structure of gels at high ethanol concentrations (24%) is characterized by thick and poorly connected network strands.

Water-ethanol mixture


Intrinsic viscosity

X-ray scattering


Hydrodynamic volume



Elin Linnea Hermansson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Erich Schuster

SP Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut AB

Lars Johan Lindgren

Mölnlycke healthcare

A. Altskär

SP Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut AB

Anna Ström

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Technology

Carbohydrate Polymers

0144-8617 (ISSN)

Vol. 144 289-296

Subject Categories

Food Engineering

Polymer Technologies

Chemical Sciences





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9/6/2018 1