Simple one pot preparation of chemical hydrogels from cellulose dissolved in cold LiOH/Urea

Jiayi Yang, Bruno Medronho, Björn Lindman, Magnus Norgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this work, non-derivatized cellulose pulp was dissolved in a cold alkali solution (LiOH/urea) and chemically cross-linked with methylenebisacrylamide (MBA) to form a robust hydrogel with superior water absorption properties. Different cellulose concentrations (i.e., 2, 3 and 4 wt%) and MBA/glucose molar ratios (i.e., 0.26, 0.53 and 1.05) were tested. The cellulose hydrogel cured at 60 °C for 30 min, with a MBA/glucose molar ratio of 1.05, exhibited the highest water swelling capacity absorbing ca. 220 g H2O/g dry hydrogel. Moreover, the data suggest that the cross-linking occurs via a basic Michael addition mechanism. This innovative procedure based on the direct dissolution of unmodified cellulose in LiOH/urea followed by MBA cross-linking provides a simple and fast approach to prepare chemically cross-linked non-derivatized high-molecular-weight cellulose hydrogels with superior water uptake capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number373
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 7

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Polymer Technologies
  • Polymer Chemistry

Free keywords

  • Cellulose hydrogel
  • LiOH/urea
  • Methylenebisacrylamide
  • Michael addition


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