Probing interactions in combined hydroxide base solvents for improving dissolution of cellulose
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 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.