, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 161–169 | Cite as

Structure and solution properties of cyanoethyl celluloses synthesized in LiOH/urea aqueous solution

  • Qian Li
  • Pingjian Wu
  • Jinping Zhou
  • Lina Zhang


Cyanoethyl celluloses (CECs) with different degree of substitution (DS) were synthesized by homogeneous reaction of cellulose (cotton linter pulp and absorbent cotton) with acrylonitrile (AN) in LiOH/urea aqueous solutions. The reaction showed quick reactivity and high transfer efficiency of etherification agent. The DS values of CECs were controlled by varying the molar ratio of AN to anhydroglucose unit (AGU) and the cellulose concentration. The DS values of the CEC-1–CEC-10 increased from 0.27 to 1.78 with increasing molar ratio of AN to AGU from 0.5:1 to 9:1. While the CEC-11–CEC-21 with DS values of 0.26–1.81 could be obtained by adjusting the molar ratio from 1:1 to 27:1. The relative reactivity of hydroxyl groups is in the order of C-6 > C-2 > C-3. The DS values of the water-soluble derivatives are in the range of 0.47–1.01. As the DS values increase to 1.37, CEC samples can not be dissolved in water or dilute alkali solution, but have good solubility in organic solvents, such as DMSO, DMF and pyridine. The dilute solution properties and molecular parameters of the CEC samples were studied by static light scattering and dynamic light scattering. The results indicated that the water-soluble samples could form a small number of aggregates spontaneously in 0.9 wt% NaCl aqueous solution, while the water-insoluble samples showed extended stiff chains in 0.5% LiCl–DMAc.


Cyanoethyl cellulose Homogeneous synthesis Degree of substitution Solubility Solution properties 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (50973085), the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, 2010CB732203) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2081005).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qian Li
    • 1
  • Pingjian Wu
    • 1
  • Jinping Zhou
    • 1
  • Lina Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryWuhan UniversityWuhanChina

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