Effective dissolution of cellulosic macromolecules is the first predominant step to prepare functional bio-based materials with desirable properties. In this study, we developed an improved dissolution process using a freeze-drying pretreatment to promote the dissolution of cellulose. Rheological measurements of cellulose solutions and physicochemical characterization of regenerated cellulose films (scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and thermogravimetric analysis) were performed. Cellulose solution prepared from 5% microcrystalline cellulose (w:v) in the solvent exhibits a Newtonian fluid character while cellulose solutions at higher concentrations show a pseudo-plastic fluid behavior. Results from physicochemical characterization indicate that a freeze-drying pretreatment step of cellulose leads to a complete dissolution at 5% concentration while only part of cellulose is dissolved at 10% and 15% concentrations. The results obtained indicated that the use of a freeze-drying pretreatment step under mild conditions lead to a complete dissolution of cellulose at 5% concentration. The cellulose films prepared from 5% concentration exhibited desirable properties such as good optical transparency, crystallinity, and thermal stability.
- biopolymers and renewable polymers
- cellulose and other wood products