An explanation of increased hydrolysis of the β-(1,4)-glycosidic linkages of grafted cellulose using molecular modeling

David T. Karst, Yiqi Yang, Genzo Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Grafting various groups onto cellulose is found to substantially increase acid hydrolysis of the β-(1,4)-glycosidic linkages. Molecular modeling is used to explain how various substituents such as esters and ethers cause this phenomenon. A substituent helps stabilize hydrolyzed cellulose by serving as an anchor to the end of the cleaved cellulose to which it is bonded, making it less mobile, and allowing it to have stronger interactions than those in pure hydrolyzed cellulose. Hydrolysis increases with increasing size of the substituent. Molecules sorbed but not grafted to cellulose do not increase hydrolysis. Hydrolysis mainly occurs at glucoses bonded to the substituent, and supporting experiments show that hydrolysis approaches equilibrium when no substituent remains on the cellulose fiber.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6464-6471
Number of pages8
Issue number18
StatePublished - Aug 23 2006



  • Cellulose
  • Hydrolysis
  • Molecular modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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