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Alkaline Hydrolysis of Waste Nitrocellulose for Recovery of Pure Cellulose

Keywords: Nitrocellulose , Alkaline hydrolysis , Cellulose , Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy , Scanning Electron Microscope

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Abstract:

Due to wide usage of nitrocellulose in civilian and non-domestic industries, massive amount of waste residues is generated. The waste has to be treated with an environmental friendly process. Historically, methods for decomposition of waste materials have been open burning or open explosion may not be suitable or safe disposal. Alkaline hydrolysis of nitrocellulose seems to be a simple and inexpensive method for cleavage of its structure to non-energetic materials that can be directly disposed or further biologically deteriorated. Furthermore having a valuable product is desired for making the process to be profitable. In this work, a simple method for alkaline decomposition of waste nitrocellulose to cellulose was used. The effect of sodium hydroxide solution and temperature on decomposition of nitrocellulose was investigated. In such circumstances the optimum conditions that achieved were 1.5 M sodium hydroxide, at 55 C. The identification and characterization of product was carried out by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The obtain results showed that hydrolysis occurred and the product was completely denitrified and its characterization compatible and similar to pure cellulose.

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