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Issue 13, 2013
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Direct HPILC analysis of cellulose depolymerisation in ionic liquids

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Changes of average molecular weight and molecular weight distribution of cellulose in a polar ionic liquid (IL) were analysed with high performance liquid chromatography using a polar IL as an eluent (HPILC). 1-Ethyl-3-methylimidazolium methylphosphonate was used as the polar IL. As a model of partly depolymerised cellulose, a mixed sample composed of cellulose and cello-oligosaccharides (glucose, cellobiose, cellotetraose, and cellohexaose) was evaluated to test the resolution of the HPILC. In the resulting chromatograms, the corresponding peaks for each saccharide were found. Hydrolysed cellulose catalysed by a cellulase mixture in water was then prepared and dried. Then, this was dissolved in the polar IL to analyse its molecular weight distribution. The molecular weight distribution changed depending on the enzymatic reaction time. The peak for cellulose was found to decrease with the increase of the peak for cellobiose, and subsequently the peak for cellobiose decreased with the increase of that for glucose. In addition, cellulose oligomers except for cellobiose were scarcely observed, showing the catalytic feature of cellulase. Depolymerisation of cellulose in the polar IL was also carried out using ultrasonication. The peak for cellulose in the HPILC profiles shifted to a higher retention volume side and broadened with the sonication time, strongly suggesting random depolymerisation of cellulose. Thus, HPILC was confirmed to be effective for the dynamic analysis of cellulose depolymerisation.

Graphical abstract: Direct HPILC analysis of cellulose depolymerisation in ionic liquids

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Supplementary files

Article information

31 Jan 2013
06 Apr 2013
First published
09 Apr 2013

Anal. Methods, 2013,5, 3172-3176
Article type

Direct HPILC analysis of cellulose depolymerisation in ionic liquids

K. Kuroda, Y. Fukaya and H. Ohno, Anal. Methods, 2013, 5, 3172
DOI: 10.1039/C3AY40182K

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