Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) was used to examine molecular weight and polydispersity in various cellulose forms (pulp, fibers made from regenerated cellulose, bacterial cellulose, flax and cotton fibers) in relation to chemical treatment (Table 1). Production of fibers from a spinning solution and the subsequent regeneration of cellulose in the bath as well as chemical treatment of natural cellulosic fibers involving bleaching, resulted in a considerable degradation comprising reduction of polydispersity and in a simultaneously enhanced molecular homogeneity. GPC was found to lend itself to evaluate the process of bleaching of flax and cotton (Figs. 5, 6) as an example of studying the effectivity of new technological solutions.
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