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Research into the Mercerization Process of BeechWood Using the Waxs Method

Research and development


  • Borysiak Sławomir
    Institute of Chemical Technology and Engineering, Poznan University of Technology, Poznań, Poland
  • Doczekalska Beata
    Insitute of Chemical Wood Technology, Poznan University of Life Sciences, Poznań, Poland

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The objective of this study was to establish the relationship between the condition of mercerization of beechwood (concentration of NaOH solution and time of treatment) and the degree of conversion cellulose I ¨ cellulose II using the wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) method. The present study is the continuation of recently performed investigations into the determination of the efficiency of the mercerization process of various lignocellulosic fillers, such as flax and hemp fibres as well as pinewood. Our investigations indicated a significant influence of the type of natural materials and the technological parameters of the mercerization process. The studies of the supermolecular structure of beechwood showed that the conditions of mercerization had the greatest effect on the transformation of cellulose I into cellulose II. The polymorphic transformation depends on the concentration of sodium hydroxide solution as well as the time of chemical treatment. The increase in alkali concentration in the range 10% up to 25% caused an increase in the content of cellulose II. With increasing time of mercerization (from 15 to 90 minutes), the amount of cellulose II increases. The alkali treatment also caused a significant fall in the content of crystallinity of the wood. However, the shape dependence of the degree of crystallinity vs. time mercerization is similar for each concentration of sodium hydroxide solution.

Tags: wood, cellulose, mercerization, WAXS method.

Published in issue no 6 (71) / 2008, pages 101–103.


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