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On the dissolution of cellulose in tetrabutylammonium acetate/dimethyl sulfoxide : a frustrated solvent

  • Alexander Idström
  • Luigi Gentile
  • Marta Gubitosi
  • Carina Olsson
  • Björn Stenqvist
  • Mikael Lund
  • Karl Erik Bergquist
  • Ulf Olsson
  • Tobias Köhnke
  • Erik Bialik
Publishing year: 2017-09
Language: English
Pages: 3645-3657
Publication/Series: Cellulose
Volume: 24
Issue: 9
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

We have found that the dissolution of cellulose in the binary mixed solvent tetrabutylammonium acetate/dimethyl sulfoxide follows a previously overlooked near-stoichiometric relationship such that one dissolved acetate ion is able to dissolve an amount of cellulose corresponding to about one glucose residue. The structure and dynamics of the resulting cellulose solutions were investigated using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and nuclear magnetic resonance techniques as well as molecular dynamics simulation. This yielded a detailed picture of the dissolution mechanism in which acetate ions form hydrogen bonds to cellulose and causes a diffuse solvation sheath of bulky tetrabutylammonium counterions to form. In turn, this leads to a steric repulsion that helps to keep the cellulose chains apart. Structural similarities to previously investigated cellulose solutions in aqueous tetrabutylammonium hydroxide were revealed by SAXS measurement. To what extent this corresponds to similarities in dissolution mechanism is discussed.


  • Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology
  • Cellulose dissolution
  • Ionic liquids
  • Molecular dynamics simulations
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance
  • Small angle X-ray scattering


  • ISSN: 0969-0239
Luigi Gentile
E-mail: luigi [dot] gentile [at] fkem1 [dot] lu [dot] se




Sölvegatan 37, Lund


Visiting research fellow

Physical Chemistry

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Research group

Microbial Ecology