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Issue 10, 2013
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Mechanical depolymerisation of acidulated cellulose: understanding the solubility of high molecular weight oligomers

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Abstract

Water soluble oligomers of cellulose were produced by milling acidulated microcrystalline cellulose. Acids with low pKa were found to be more effective for the treatment. The yield of water soluble fraction was proportional to the increasing severity of milling or the acid amount. Soluble oligomers were found to have an average degree of polymerisation of ∼7 monomer units. High resolution NMR spectroscopy was used to determine the chemical structures of soluble oligomers. It was found that branched oligomers with α (1 → 6) linkages were formed, which increased their solubility in water and reduced the generation of monomers and dimers which may degrade during milling or subsequent hydrolysis–hydrogenation. The soluble oligomers showed excellent reactivity towards hydrolysis–hydrogenation in the presence of bi-metallic Ni–Pt/alumina catalyst. High yields (∼90%) of sorbitol and mannitol were obtained with only 1 h of reaction time.

Graphical abstract: Mechanical depolymerisation of acidulated cellulose: understanding the solubility of high molecular weight oligomers

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 May 2013, accepted on 05 Aug 2013 and first published on 06 Aug 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3GC40945G
Citation: Green Chem., 2013,15, 2761-2768
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    Mechanical depolymerisation of acidulated cellulose: understanding the solubility of high molecular weight oligomers

    A. Shrotri, L. K. Lambert, A. Tanksale and J. Beltramini, Green Chem., 2013, 15, 2761
    DOI: 10.1039/C3GC40945G

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