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Acidic ionic liquid as “quasi-homogeneous” catalyst for controllable synthesis of cellulose acetate

Tian, Dong, Han, Yangyang, Lu, Canhui, Zhang, Xinxing, Yuan, Guiping
Carbohydrate polymers 2014 v.113 pp. 83-90
acetylation, catalysts, catalytic activity, cellulose, cellulose acetate, commercialization, ionic liquids, solubility, sulfates, viscosity
In this paper, we demonstrated that acidic ionic liquids (ILs) can be used as “quasi-homogeneous” catalysts for the efficient acetylation of cellulose. Unlike existing techniques that use large amount of ILs as solvent to dissolve and acetylate cellulose, a small amount of acidic ILs was used as catalyst in this study to overcome the low efficiency associated with relatively high viscosity and costs of ILs during homogeneous acetylation. Fully substituted cellulose acetate with a conversion of 88.8% was obtained by using only 9mol% IL 1-vinyl-3-(3-sulfopropyl) imidazolium hydrogen sulfate as catalyst, which is much higher than that of common commercialized solid acid catalysts. The degree of substitution and solubility of the obtained cellulose acetate can be facilely controlled by varying the concentration of ILs and reaction time. The dual function of swelling and catalyzing of acidic ILs for the acetylation of cellulose is responsible for the excellent catalytic performance.