, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 2243–2253 | Cite as

Dimethyl sulfoxide assisted dissolution of cellulose in 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazoium acetate: small angle neutron scattering and rheological studies

  • Mingkun Yang
  • Wenwen Zhao
  • Shizeng Wang
  • Changyuan Yu
  • Seema Singh
  • Blake Simmons
  • Gang ChengEmail author
Original Research


Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) has been successfully used as a co-solvent in cellulose and biomass processing by ionic liquids (ILs). However, the interactions between cellulose, DMSO and ILs are still not fully understood and conflicting results exist in literature. In this work, solution structures of mixture solvents of DMSO-d6 and 1-ethyl-3-methyl-imidazolium acetate ([C2C1Im][OAc]) were studied by small angle neutron scattering (SANS) where the concentration of [C2C1Im][OAc] in DMSO-d6 varied from 80 to 1 wt%. In addition, the solution structure of cellulose in 10 wt% ([C2C1Im][OAc]) + 90 wt% DMSO mixture solvent were evaluated by rheology and SANS. The results were discussed considering the rigidity of cellulose chains and compared them with the marginal solution behavior of semi-flexible polymers.

Graphical abstract


SANS Cellulose DMSO Ionic liquids Rheology 



We thank Drs. Boualem Hammouda (NCNR, NIST) and Lilin He (GP-SANS, ORNL) for discretionary neutron beam time and Mr. Cedric Gannon (NCNR, NIST) for the help with the SANS experiment. We thank Dr. Ning Sun of Advanced Biofuels Process Development Unit, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for the help with rheological measurement. Gang Cheng acknowledges support for this research by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (U1432109) and China Scholarship Council (201606885004). The work carried out at the DOE Joint BioEnergy Institute ( was supported by the U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, through contract DE-AC02-05CH11231 between Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the U. S. Department of Energy. A portion of this research used resources at the High Flux Isotope Reactor, a DOE Office of Science User Facility operated by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Access to NGB 30 m SANS was provided by the Center for High Resolution Neutron Scattering, a partnership between the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Science Foundation under Agreement No. DMR-1508249. We acknowledge the support of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce, in providing the neutron research facilities used in this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Organic–Inorganic Composites and College of Life Science and TechnologyBeijing University of Chemical TechnologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.Biomass Science and Conversion Technology DepartmentSandia National LaboratoriesLivermoreUSA
  3. 3.Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI)EmeryvilleUSA
  4. 4.Biological Systems and Engineering DivisionLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA

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