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March 1 2012 5 01 /03 /March /2012 18:21

I saw an interesting experiment where cellulose (paper or wood) is dissolved in a cuprammonium hydroxide solution. This is then squirted into hydrochloric acid to form thin threads of the fabric rayon. The Cu(NH3)OH (simplification) solution is made by adding a small amount of ammonia to a copper salt to precipitate the hydroxide. Filter the precipitate and react it with a large excess of ammonia. The resulting deep blue solution is also known as Schweizer's reagent. The cellulose-containing substance is added to this solution. The solution is then acidified to destroy the ammonia complex and regenerate the cellulose fibers. This video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aRBn-9yV8Y) states that the cellulose takes an extremely long time to dissolve, so this is not a good demonstration, but it is interesting to make fabric out of some scrap paper!

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Published by LanthanumK - in Experiments
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