Water molecule “spinning cutter” controllably improving the performance of cellulosic fibers

Jianguo Li, Tao Tao, Chong Luo, Xi Liu, Xuhai Zhu, Liulian Huang, Xinhua Ouyang, Yonghao Ni, Lihui Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: High reactivity of dissolving pulp is the basic parameter for achieving the deeply advanced applications of natural cellulosic fiber in the sustainable society. Here we developed a simple yet effective strategy of microwave treatment to promote the reactive ability of pulp fibers. The microwave radiation can induce the rotation and vibration of water molecules due to the polarization effect, where the water molecules functioned as the “spinning cutter” to collide and attack the cell wall of fibers. The morphologies and structure of fibers were controllably modified to have the rough surface and loose structure, while the cellulose purity and fiber yield were well maintained during the process. A 5 min and 500 W microwave treatment can improve the Fock reactivity of pulp fibers from 49 to 83% with a super-high fiber yield of 99.5%. The effective approach of microwave treatment presents a promising candidate for manufacturing high-performance cellulosic fibers. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7297-7306
Number of pages10
Issue number13
Early online date23 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Effective
  • High-performance fibers
  • Microwave treatment
  • Rotation and vibration
  • water molecules polarization


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