Studies in chemically modified celluloses. XI. Hypochlorite oxidation of cellulose in the presence of chromium oxide



In the dyeing of mineral Khaki on cotton fabrics, which are mainly used for military uniforms in India, a mixture of Fe2O3 and Cr2O3 is deposited in the fabric. When these garments are laundered using bleaching powder solution, the chromium oxide is likely to accelerate the oxidation of cotton cellulose. This aspect has been studied by oxidizing cotton yarn with sodium hypochlorite solution in the presence of chromium oxide, varying the chromium content, the pH of the oxidizing medium, and the concentration of the oxidizing agent. The properties of these chemically modified celluloses indicate that chromium oxide does accelerate the hypochlorite oxidation of cellulose and that the maximum extent of acceleration takes place when the oxidation is carried out at pH 7. The oxidized products were further modified separately by treatment with chlorous acid and sodium borohydride, and the effects of these agents on the properties of the oxidized products were studied.