Salt-free but refreshing; novel approaches to solubilize and etherify cellulose

This project aims at developing new sustainable chemical routes to solubilize and modify cellulose

The industrial application of cellulose is massive and well-developed, but still hampered by several challenges related to its molecular structure. Native cellulose is insoluble in water and most organic solvents, and its chemical reactivity is not fully understood. The goal of this project, therefore, is to study novel and selective chemical transformations, using strategies that have not been applied on cellulose before. These include the use of light to selectively photo-activate carbon-hydrogen bonds in cellulose and novel etherification reactions based on non-noble metal catalysts.