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Influence of molecular weight and rheological behavior on electrospinning cellulose nanofibers from ionic liquids

Authors

  • Linda Härdelin,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
    2. Wallenberg Wood Science Center, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
    • Swerea IVF, Mölndal, Sweden
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  • Erik Perzon,

    1. Swerea IVF, Mölndal, Sweden
    2. Wallenberg Wood Science Center, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • Bengt Hagström,

    1. Swerea IVF, Mölndal, Sweden
    2. Wallenberg Wood Science Center, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
    3. Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • Pernilla Walkenström,

    1. Swerea IVF, Mölndal, Sweden
    2. Wallenberg Wood Science Center, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
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  • Paul Gatenholm

    1. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
    2. Wallenberg Wood Science Center, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
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Correspondence to: L. Härdelin (E-mail: linda.hardelin@swerea.se)

ABSTRACT

Dissolving pulp was depolymerized with 2.5M HCl into cellulose fractions with decreasing molecular weight relative to acid treatment time. The cellulose fractions were dissolved at various concentrations in the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate (EmimAc) with co-solvent DMSO at ratio 1 : 1 (w/w) and electrospun. Size exclusion chromatography was used to evaluate the molecular weight distributions and the rheological properties were characterized with a cone-and-plate rheometer. Scanning electron microscope was used to evaluate the fiber morphology, and thereby spinnability. Zero shear viscosity as a function of cellulose concentration show that all the solutions in this study are in the entangled semi-dilute regime; where the polymer concentration is large enough for significant overlap necessary for chain entanglement. However, within the intervals studied, neither cellulose concentration nor molecular weight seems to be decisive for if a solution can be electrospun into fibers or not. It is rather the viscosity of the solution that is decisive for electrospinnability, even though the solution is in the entangled semi-dilute regime. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 130: 2303–2310, 2013

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