On the mechanism of dissolution of cellulose

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Cellulose is insoluble in water and many organic solvents, but can be dissolved in a number of solvents of intermediate properties, like N-methylmorpholine N-oxide (NMMO) and ionic liquids (ILs). It can also be dissolved in water at high and low pHs, in particular if a cosolute of intermediate polarity is added. The insolubility in water is often referred to strong intermolecular hydrogen bonding between cellulose molecules. However, an examination of the interactions involved reveals another picture, which suggests that cellulose is significantly amphiphilic and that hydrophobic interactions are important for explaining the solubility pattern of cellulose. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-81
JournalJournal of Molecular Liquids
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Theoretical Chemistry (S) (011001039), Physical Chemistry 1 (S) (011001006), Chemical Engineering (011001014)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Theoretical Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Physical Chemistry


  • Ionic liquids
  • Hydrophobic interactions
  • Cellulose
  • Amphiphilic
  • Solubility


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