Impact of solvent quality on the network strength and structure of alginate gels
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 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.

Intrinsic viscosity



X-ray scattering


Water-ethanol mixture

Hydrodynamic volume


Elin Linnea Hermansson

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik

E. Schuster

Chalmers University of Technology

SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden

Lars Johan Lindgren

Chalmers University of Technology

Mölnlycke Health Care

A. Altskär

SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden

Chalmers University of Technology

Anna Ström

Kemi och kemiteknik, Tillämpad kemi, Farmaceutisk teknologi

Carbohydrate Polymers

0144-8617 (ISSN)

Vol. 144 289-296