Australian Journal of Chemistry Australian Journal of Chemistry Society
An international journal for chemical science

Solubilization and Functionalization of Cellulose Assisted by Microwave Irradiation

Mona Semsarilar A and Sébastien Perrier A B
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A Key Centre for Polymers & Colloids, School of Chemistry, University of Sydney, F11, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

B Corresponding author. Email:

Australian Journal of Chemistry 62(3) 223-226
Submitted: 9 November 2008  Accepted: 22 January 2009   Published: 20 March 2009


The dissolution and functionalization of cellulose in the DMAc/LiCl system assisted by microwave irradiation is investigated. Cellulose solutions were prepared using mono- and multimodal microwave radiation, as well as using a conventional heating method. The effect of microwave irradiation on the dissolution of cellulose was evaluated by comparison of physical properties such as the viscosity of the resulting solution and the size distribution of the cellulosic chains in solution. We demonstrate that monomodal microwave irradiation allows for a faster and easier dissolution of cellulose, when compared with the use of multimodal microwave irradiation, or conventional heating. Furthermore, we show that monomodal microwave irradiation can be used for a one-pot modification of cellulose undertaken in two steps, first dissolution of the cellulose followed by reaction of the functional groups. The concept is illustrated by the modification of cellulose with lauroyl chloride.


The authors thank Professor James T. Guthrie (University of Leeds) for his advice, and the University of Sydney for the provision of a scholarship (M.S.).


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