Natural Cellulose: Biosynthesis and Structural Changes

Michael Ioelovich


In this research the kinetics of cellulose accumulation in growing cotton fibers due to biosynthesis has been studied. The kinetic curve had initial slow stage (up to 15 days after flowering, AF), fast stage (15 to 35 days AF) and final very slow stage (above 35 days AF). To describe such complex kinetics, equation of Avrami-Kolmogorov-Erofeev (AKE) was used: Ct/Cm = 1 – exp [-K (t – to)n], where Ct is amount of cellulose accumulated in fibers for time t AF; Cm is maximum amount of cellulose in mature cotton fibers; K is effective rate constant; n is effective order of the process; t is time AF and to is induction period. The calculated parameters of AKE-equation are: to= 7 days AF, K= 5.94 x 10-3 and n=1.72. Since n>1, the process of cellulose biosynthesis is not limited by diffusion of monomers. The kinetic curve calculated by AKE-equation coincide with the experimental points, which confirms the adequacy this equation for describing the biosynthesis process of natural cellulose. Structural studies have shown, that crystalline structure of cellulose in immature fibers is low-ordered. However, with increase in duration of cotton maturation, additional crystallization of cellulose occurs.


Growing cotton fibers; Biosynthesis; Cellulose accumulation; Crystalline structure; Kinetics; kinetic AKE-equation

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