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Molecules 2013, 18(1), 1270-1313; doi:10.3390/molecules18011270

Chemistry and Applications of Polysaccharide Solutions in Strong Electrolytes/Dipolar Aprotic Solvents: An Overview

Institute of Chemistry, University of São Paulo, P.O. Box 26077, São Paulo 05513-970, Brazil
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Received: 26 October 2012 / Revised: 2 January 2013 / Accepted: 9 January 2013 / Published: 21 January 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry 2012)
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Abstract

Biopolymers and their derivatives are being actively investigated as substitutes for petroleum-based polymers. This has generated an intense interest in investigating new solvents, in particular for cellulose, chitin/chitosan, and starch. This overview focuses on recent advances in the dissolution and derivatization of these polysaccharides in solutions of strong electrolytes in dipolar aprotic solvents. A brief description of the molecular structures of these biopolymers is given, with emphases on the properties that are relevant to derivatization, namely crystallinity and accessibility. The mechanism of cellulose dissolution is then discussed, followed by a description of the strategies employed for the synthesis of cellulose derivatives (carboxylic acid esters, and ethers) under homogeneous reaction conditions. The same sequence of presentation has been followed for chitin/chitosan and starch. Future perspectives for this subject are summarized, in particular with regard to compliance with the principles of green chemistry.
Keywords: cellulose; chitin; chitosan; starch; cellulose esters; cellulose ethers; homogeneous reaction conditions; regioselectivity of substitution cellulose; chitin; chitosan; starch; cellulose esters; cellulose ethers; homogeneous reaction conditions; regioselectivity of substitution
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MDPI and ACS Style

El Seoud, O.A.; Nawaz, H.; Arêas, E.P.G. Chemistry and Applications of Polysaccharide Solutions in Strong Electrolytes/Dipolar Aprotic Solvents: An Overview. Molecules 2013, 18, 1270-1313.

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