, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1069–1073 | Cite as

Approximate solution of the autocatalytic hydrolysis of cellulose

  • Marcelo H. GehlenEmail author


Depolymerization of cellulose in homogeneous acidic medium is analyzed on the basis of autocatalytic model of hydrolysis with a positive feedback of acid production from the degraded biopolymer. The normalized number of scissions per cellulose chain, S(t)/n° = 1 − C(t)/C0, follows a sigmoid behavior with reaction time t, and the cellulose concentration C(t) decreases exponentially with a linear and cubic time dependence, C(t) = C0exp[−at − bt3], where a and b are model parameters easier determined from data analysis.


Cellulose Depolymerization Acid hydrolysis Ageing Autocatalytic kinetics 



MHG thanks FAPESP and CNPq for the financial support of this study. This work is also within the scope of INCT-Catálise Research Center in Brazil. The author thanks Professor Dr. Ernesto R. Gonzales for helpful discussion.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Química de São CarlosUniversidade de São PauloSão CarlosBrazil

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