Abstract: Dynamic vapor sorption (DVS) coupled with deuterium exchange was applied in determining the amount of hydroxyl (OH) groups accessible for deuteration in pulps and pure cellulose quantitatively. The samples studied with the method were different types of chemical pulps as well as microcrystalline and amorphous cellulose powders. The measurement sequence consisted of drying the samples first until the change in sample mass was less than 0.0005% min−1 followed by rewetting the sample with deuterium oxide (D2O) vapor at set relative humidity (RH) of 95% for 600 min and then drying the sample again the same way as the initial drying was done. The method allows determination of the absolute amount of OH groups accessible to deuterium exchange in the samples fully automatically within 1 day. In addition, the equilibrium moisture contents (EMC) of the samples were measured at RH 95% without prior drying enabling the assessment of the EMC of the samples in as-received state without the need to assess the effect of drying. The accessibilities of chemical pulps were found to vary between 54 and 61% of the theoretical maximum, whereas the accessibilities of microcrystalline cellulose and amorphous cellulose were 51 and 63%, respectively. Interestingly, it was found that the accessible OH group content and the EMC of the samples in mol kg−1 correlated with each other and that, in fact, their ratio was close to one. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].
- Dynamic vapor sorption
- Equilibrium moisture content