Probing interactions in combined hydroxide base solvents for improving dissolution of cellulose
Journal article, 2020

To further understand cellulose-solvent interactions in aqueous hydroxide solutions, cellulose behavior in aqueous solutions of NaOH combined with tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) or benzyltrimethylammonium hydroxide (Triton B), as well as urea, was investigated. The rheological properties of the solutions were assessed throughflowsweeps at different temperatures, and the intermolecular interactions were probed using solvatochromic dyes. The results showed that NaOH combined with TMAH had synergistic effects on cellulose dissolution and was a better solvent for cellulose than the combination of NaOH with Triton B, in spite of the superior dissolution ability of Triton B alone. This somewhat unexpected finding shows that the base pair needs to be selected with care. Interestingly, addition of urea had no significant effect on the solvatochromic parameters or dissolution capacity of solutions of Triton B but rendered improved stability of solutions containing NaOH and/or TMAH. It seems that both urea and Triton B weaken the hydrophobic assembly effect of these solutions, but urea is excluded from interacting with cellulose in the presence of Triton B. This study provides further insight into dissolution of cellulose and the possibility of utilizing combinations of hydroxide bases to achieve improved solution properties.



Hydroxide base






Beatrice Swensson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology, Chemical Reaction Engineering

Anette Larsson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Anette Larsson Group

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Merima Hasani

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology, Chemical Reaction Engineering


2073-4360 (eISSN)

Vol. 12 6 1310

Subject Categories

Polymer Chemistry

Physical Chemistry

Other Chemistry Topics





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