Mass spectrometric studies of cellulose ethers

Dane Momcilovic

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)


Cellulose based derivatives, such as cellulose ethers, today find many applications in a diverse range of

fields. The numerous applications put high demands on the technological performance of the cellulose ethers.

In order to be able to control the technological properties it is necessary to develop analytical methods by,

which they can be correlated to the chemical structure. In some cases variations in the technological

properties cannot be explained by the chemical characterisation methods available today. Thus, it is of high

importance to investigate the suitability of new analytical techniques for chemical characterisation of

cellulose ethers.

In this thesis matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) and nanoelectrospray

ionisation (nano-ESI)-MS were studied as analytical techniques for cellulose ethers. Among the

results, MALDI tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) and nano-ESI-MS/MS were demonstrated as

exceptionally useful tools for the structure analysis of cellulose ether oligosaccharides. Nano-ESI-MS/MS

was employed to characterise the selectivity of a cellulose depolymerising enzyme, endoglucanase, on

methyl cellulose (MC). Novel dialkylamine derivatives of cellulose ether oligosaccharides were shown to

increase the sensitivity in both MALDI- and nano-ESI-MS, and to facilitate structure analysis by MS/MS.

Studies of the molar mass distribution of partially depolymerised MC were performed by size-exclusion

chromatography semi-online to MALDI-MS. The sample preparation method for MALDI was found to have

a significant influence on the outcome of the analysis. Furthermore, a simple experiment showed that, the

combination of MALDI-MS and partial acidic depolymerisation could be used to distinguish between

cellulose ethers of different degrees of substitution.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Centre for Analysis and Synthesis
  • Wahlund, Karl-Gustav, Supervisor
Award date2005 Apr 29
ISBN (Print)91-628-6316-9
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2005-04-29
Time: 10:30
Place: Lecture Hall B, Centre for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Getingevägen 60, Lund, Sweden.

External reviewer(s)

Name: Mischnick, Petra
Title: Prof. Dr.
Affiliation: Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig, Institut für Lebensmittelchemie, Braunschw


The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Analytical Chemistry (S/LTH) (011001004)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Analytical Chemistry

Free keywords

  • Polymerteknik
  • biopolymers
  • Polymer technology
  • Analytisk kemi
  • Analytical chemistry
  • enzymatic depolymerisation
  • reductive amination
  • electrospray ionisation
  • cellulose ethers
  • mass spectrometry


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