Cotton cellulose was swollen in aqueous solutions of sodium hydroxide and tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH), respectively, in the presence of air. Samples after neutralization and drying were irradiated in open air (3, 10, and 20kGy) in dry form (water content about 8-10%). Degree of polymerization (DP) and FTIR spectra were determined as a function of base concentration. Decrease of DP during irradiation was restrained by base pretreatment of cellulose probably due to the crosslinks developed. This effect was observed at low concentration as well where no crystal transition occurs. In the FTIR spectra absorbances belonging to the intermolecular H bonds decreased with increasing base concentration. High-energy irradiation resulted in a further decrease of intermolecular hydrogen bonds. It was assumed that crosslinking was assisted by the increased mobility of molecular chains in the amorphous part of base-treated cellulose. Effect of preswelling was more significant for TMAH-treated samples.
- Tetramethylammonium hydroxide
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