Changes in the hygroscopic behavior of cellulose due to variations in relative humidity

Ville A. Lovikka*, Lauri Rautkari, Thaddeus C. Maloney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Details on how cellulosic surfaces change under changing moisture are incomplete and even existing results are occasionally neglected. Unlike sometimes reported, water adsorption is unsuitable for surface area measurements. However, water can be utilized for assessing surface dynamics. Hygroscopic changes of pulp and bacterial cellulose were studied by dehydrating the samples in a low polarity solvent and then introducing them into a moist atmosphere in a dynamic vapor sorption (DVS) apparatus at 0–93% relative humidity (RH). The DVS treatment caused hygroscopicity loss near applied RH maxima, however, the hygroscopicity increased at RH values > 10–20% units lower. Additionally, the hygroscopic changes were partially reversible near the RH maximum. Therefore the hygroscopicity of cellulose could be controlled by tailoring the exposure history of the sample. Hornification reduced these changes. The observations support reported molecular simulations where cellulose was shown to restructure its surface depending on the polarity of its environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87–104
Number of pages18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cellulose
  • Critical point drying
  • Hornification
  • Solvent exchange
  • Surface restructuring
  • Water adsorption


Dive into the research topics of 'Changes in the hygroscopic behavior of cellulose due to variations in relative humidity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this