Dissolution of cellulose for textile fibre applications
Sammanfattning: This thesis forms part of a project with the objective of developing and implementing a novel, wood-based, process for the industrial production of cellulose textile fibres. This new process should not only be cost effective but also have far less environmental impact then current processes. Natural and man-made fibres are usually plagued with problems (e.g. economic and environmental) and are unsuitable in meeting growing demands. The focus of this thesis was therefore to investigate the dissolution of cellulose derived from various pulps in novel aqueous solvent systems. It was shown that cellulose could be dissolved in a NaOH/H2O solvent at low temperatures (<0°C) and that such an alkaline solvent can be improved regarding the solubility, stability and rheological properties of the cellulose dopes formed if different additives (salts or amphiphilic molecules) are used. The effect of different kinds of pretreatment (individually and combined) and the influence of pulp properties on cellulose accessibility and dissolution were also evaluated. These pretreatments affected, as expected, some characteristic properties of the pulps mainly by reducing the DP but also, for example, changing the composition of the carbohydrates. Not only did the pretreatment affect the solubility it also increased the stability of the cellulose dopes, resembling the effect of chemical additives to the NaOH system. According to multivariate data analysis it was established that, of the pulp properties analyzed, only the composition of carbohydrates and the DP had a significant influence on the solubility of the pulps used in this study. Finally, it was emphasized that the dissolution of cellulose pulps seemed to be controlled by a very complex interaction between both kinetic and thermodynamic parameters.
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