Cellulose is a commercially important biopolymer. Due to its abundance, biocompatibility and renewability it has shown important commercial applications in food, pharmaceuticals, biomedical. Depending on the origin and the processing methods used, the resulting fiber dimensions, structure, crystallinity and molecular weight (MW) can vary over a broad range. MW is one of the most important parameters in polymer characterization as many of its properties depend on it. Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) has been the technique of choice for determining these properties. However, this method has limitations and requires optimization. Its accuracy is dependent on complete dissolution of the sample. Cellulose is insoluble in most solvents due to its structure and strong hydrogen bonding network. Either derivatization or special solvent systems have been used for solubilization. Derivatization changes the chemical nature and there is no consensus on a definitive solvent system for cellulose. TO BE CONT’D
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