, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1057–1068 | Cite as

Effect of alkali pre-treatment on hydrolysis of regenerated cellulose fibers (part 1: viscose) by cellulases

  • Christian B. Schimper
  • Constanta Ibanescu
  • Thomas BechtoldEmail author


Viscose fabrics were pre-treated with liquid ammonia and NaOH solutions. The pre-treatment was varied in alkali concentration, time and drying conditions. Subsequently, the samples were subjected to cellulase hydrolysis. Microscope and SEM pictures were taken; weight loss, reducing sugar and protein content in solution, water retention value and tensile strength were determined. It was found, that the activity of cellulases is increased for viscose and that short time alkali pre-treatment reduces tensile strength due to changes in the substrate. The drying and drying conditions (wet, line dry of freeze dry) have great impact on the hydrolysis rate. A connection between the rate of protein loss in solution and changed water retention value was established. Weight loss of 80% of cellulose fabric was achieved within 4 h of enzyme hydrolysis.


Alkali Cellulase Cellulosic material Cellulose activation Hydrolysis Pre-treatment Protein concentration Tensile strength Water retention value 



The authors wishes to thank CD-Research society for financial funding, R. Wohlgemuth and R. Schuepbach both Sigma–Aldrich Production GmbH, Buchs, Switzerland for freeze drying of the samples and providing chemicals and Lenzing A.G., Austria for material support. We are indebted to Heinz Duelli, Department of Engineering, F.H. Vorarlberg for SEM images and H.T.L. Dornbirn and Versuchsanstalt für Textil und Chemie, Dornbirn for access in testing equipment.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian B. Schimper
    • 1
  • Constanta Ibanescu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Thomas Bechtold
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Christian Doppler-Laboratory “Chemistry of Cellulosic Fibers and Yarns”, Institute of Textile Chemistry and PhysicsUniversity of InnsbruckDornbirnAustria
  2. 2.Department of Macromolecules, Faculty of Industrial Chemistry, “Gh. Asachi” Technical UniversityIasiRomania

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