Approximate solution of the autocatalytic hydrolysis of cellulose
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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.
KeywordsCellulose 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.