X-ray diffraction methods in the study of the effect of microwave heating on the transformation of cellulose I into cellulose II during mercerization

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Abstract

X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques were used in the study of the effect of microwave (MW) heating on the structural properties of cotton celluloses I and II and on the mercerization mechanism of cotton fibers. Samples of celluloses I and II were MW heated at 900 W for different times ranging from 10 to 40 min. The obtained data revealed that MW heating of cellulose II in opened glass tubes produces no significant effects on the resolution of its XRD patterns, whereas the most evident effects occur when cotton fibers (cellulose I) are heated in opened tubes at 900 W for 10 and 20 min. Also, mixtures of cotton fibers and aqueous solution of NaOH with different concentrations were exposed to MW radiation for different times and different powers. It was found that MW heating has no considerable effects on the mechanism of transformation of cellulose I into cellulose II during mercerization. On the other hand, MW heating of cotton fibers during mercerization reduces the values of concentration of NaOH in the aqueous solution and the time of treatment that are needed for the complete transformation of cellulose lattice type I into cellulose lattice type II without any heating. Also it was found that the magnitude of reductions depends on the applied power. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2007

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