Chemisorption of air CO2 on cellulose: an overlooked feature of the cellulose/NaOH(aq) dissolution system
Journal article, 2017
A natural abundance of the air CO2 in NaOH(aq) at low temperature was investigated in terms of cellulose-CO2 interactions upon cellulose dissolution in this system. An organic superbase, namely 1,8-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undec-7-ene, DBU, known for its ability to incorporate CO2 in carbohydrates, was employed in order to shed light on this previously overlooked feature of NaOH(aq) at low temperature. The chemisorption of CO2 onto cellulose was investigated using spectroscopic methods in combination with suitable regeneration procedures. ATR-IR and NMR characterisation of regenerated celluloses showed that chemisorption of CO2 onto cellulose during its dissolution in NaOH(aq) takes place both with and without employment of the CO2-capturing superbase. The chemisorption was also observed to be reversible upon addition of water: CO2 desorbed when water was used as regenerating agent but could be preserved when instead ethanol was used. This finding could be an important parameter to take into consideration when developing processes for dissolution of cellulose based on this system.