Production of cellulose II from native cellulose by near- and supercritical water solubilization

Mitsuru Sasaki, Tadafumi Adschiri, Kunio Arai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


We explored conditions for dissolving microcrystalline cellulose in high-temperature and high-pressure water without catalyst and in order to produce cellulose II in a rapid and selective manner. For understanding reactions of microcrystalline cellulose in subcritical and supercritical water, its solubilization treatment was conducted using a continuous-flow-type microreactor. It was found that cellulose could dissolve in near- and supercritical water at short treatment times of 0.02-0.4 s, resulting in the formation of cellulose II in relatively high yield after the treatment. Next, characteristics of the cellulose II obtained were investigated. As a result, it was confirmed that the relative crystallinity index and the degree of polymerization of the cellulose II were high values ranging from 80 to 60% and from 50 to 30%, respectively. From these findings, it was suggested that this method had high potential as an alternative technique for the conventional cellulose II production method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5376-5381
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Aug 27


  • Cellulose I
  • Cellulose II
  • Native cellulose
  • Solubilization
  • Supercritical water


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