Kinetic analysis of microwave-enhanced cellulose dissolution in ionic solvents†
Cellulose dissolution in mixtures of the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate with dimethylsulfoxide, [C2C1Im][OAc] + DMSO, have been kinetically compared using conventional heating and microwave heating in a single-mode cavity with a semiconductor generator. Microwaves led to enhancements in the dissolution rate between 21 and 57% under different conditions of temperature and concentration of ionic liquid. Rate enhancement by microwaves prominently occurred at temperatures above 60 °C. Based on an Arrhenius plot and wide-band dielectric measurements we advance the hypothesis that the faster dissolution is caused by ionic motion induced by microwaves in the timescale of formation and breaking of hydrogen bonds between cellulose chains and acetate anions.