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Simple one pot preparation of chemical hydrogels from cellulose dissolved in cold LiOH/Urea

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Author list: Yang, Jiayi

Publication year: 2020

ISSN: 2073-4360

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym12020373

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Abstract

In this work, non-derivatized cellulose pulp was dissolved in a cold alkali solution (LiOH/urea) and chemically cross-linked with methylenebisacrylamide (MBA) to form a robust hydrogel with superior water absorption properties. Different cellulose concentrations (i.e., 2, 3 and 4 wt%) and MBA/glucose molar ratios (i.e., 0.26, 0.53 and 1.05) were tested. The cellulose hydrogel cured at 60 °C for 30 min, with a MBA/glucose molar ratio of 1.05, exhibited the highest water swelling capacity absorbing ca. 220 g H2O/g dry hydrogel. Moreover, the data suggest that the cross-linking occurs via a basic Michael addition mechanism. This innovative procedure based on the direct dissolution of unmodified cellulose in LiOH/urea followed by MBA cross-linking provides a simple and fast approach to prepare chemically cross-linked non-derivatized high-molecular-weight cellulose hydrogels with superior water uptake capacity.


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