• cellulose;
  • degree of polymerization;
  • GPC;
  • biomass;
  • pre-treatment


The degree of polymerization (DP) of cellulose in cellulosic biomass and how it changes during enzymatic and chemical transformations has remained a fundamental property of interest to numerous researchers. Currently, with increased interest in cellulosic biofuels, more attention is being focused on determining changes in cellulose DP before and during pre-treatment, as well as the effect of DP on enzymatic deconstruction of cellulose to glucose. Different sources of celluloses from woody and non-woody biomass have been isolated and the DP has been frequently examined as a key parameter contributing to efficient biomass deconstruction. The isolation and derivatization/dissolution of cellulose are crucial steps in determining cellulose DP. This review summarizes approaches to measuring DP developed over the past six decades and highlights opportunities for further improvements. © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd