, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 51–57 | Cite as

Discoloration of cellulose solutions in N-methylmorpholine-N-oxide (Lyocell). Part 1: Studies on model compounds and pulps

  • Immanuel Adorjan
  • Antje Potthast
  • Thomas Rosenau
  • Herbert Sixta
  • Paul Kosma


N-Methylmorpholine-N-oxide monohydrate (NMMO) is used as solvent for cellulose in the Lyocell process as a modern industrial fiber-making technology. Undesired chemical side reactions and byproduct formation in the system cellulose/NMMO/water are known to cause detrimental effects, such as chromophore formation and discoloration of the resulting fibers. A detailed kinetic study on the influence of carbonyl structures on chromophore formation in NMMO melts was carried out employing UV spectroscopy. Different sugar model compounds, such as reducing or non-reducing sugars, and sugars with additional oxidized functions, were applied. The chromophore formation rate differed widely for various reducing sugar model compounds, with pentoses generally reacting faster than hexoses, and carbohydrates with protected reducing end being largely inert. The effect of carbonyl groups on chromophore generation has been studied further using oligomers and oxidized pulps with different contents of carbonyl groups. As in the case of model compounds, also for the pulps a linear correlation between carbonyl content and chromophore formation rate was established. A distinct effect of hemicelluloses was observed.


Chromophores Kinetics Lyocell Monosaccharides NMMO UV spectroscopy 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Immanuel Adorjan
    • 1
  • Antje Potthast
    • 1
  • Thomas Rosenau
    • 1
  • Herbert Sixta
    • 2
  • Paul Kosma
    • 1
  1. 1.Christian-Doppler-LaboratoryUniversity of Natural Resources and Applied Life SciencesViennaAustria
  2. 2.R & DLenzing AGLenzingAustria

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