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Abstract

Homogeneous periodate oxidation of cellulose was achieved through methylol cellulose. The dissolution of methylol cellulose into aqueous periodate solution was followed by the gradual decomposition of methylol groups at random sites along the methylol cellulose chain. The recovery of glycol hydroxyl groups at the C2 and C3 positions on the glucopyranose ring during the above decomposition process caused uniform cleavage of C2[BOND]C3 bonds by the periodate ion. The oxidation level reached nearly 100% in 10 h. The reduced product of the resulting dialdehyde cellulose, i.e., dialcohol cellulose, resulted in mechanical properties quite different from those of conventional dialcohol cellulose. Examination of the thermal deformation and tensile properties revealed that no notable cellulose degradation occurred during the reaction. Our dialcohol cellulose gave a clear and transparent film with a flexible nature.