Radiation-Induced High-Temperature Conversion of Cellulose

Alexander Ponomarev, Boris Ershov
2014 Molecules  
Thermal decomposition of cellulose can be upgraded by means of an electron-beam irradiation to produce valuable organic products via chain mechanisms. The samples being irradiated decompose effectively at temperatures below the threshold of pyrolysis inception. Cellulose decomposition resembles local "explosion" of the glucopyranose unit when fast elimination of carbon dioxide and water precede formation of residual carbonyl or carboxyl compounds. The dry distillation being performed during an
more » ... erformed during an irradiation gives a liquid condensate where furfural and its derivatives are dominant components. Excessively fast heating is adverse, as it results in a decrease of the yield of key organic products because pyrolysis predominates over the radiolytic-controlled decomposition of feedstock. Most likely, conversion of cellulose starts via radiolytic formation of macroradicals do not conform with each other, resulting in instability of the macroradical. As a consequence, glucosidic bond cleavage, elimination of light fragments (water, carbon oxides, formaldehyde, etc.) and formation of furfural take place.
doi:10.3390/molecules191016877 pmid:25338178 fatcat:vb26gc6xmnfynjszofp6hoqgxq