Revisiting various mechanistic approaches for cellulose dissolution in different solvent systems: A comprehensive review

Haq Nawaz, Aiyong He, Zhen Wu, Xiaoyu Wang, Yetao Jiang, Aman Ullah, Feng Xu, Fengwei Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The process of dissolving cellulose is a pivotal step in transforming it into functional, value-added materials, necessitating a thorough comprehension of the underlying mechanisms to refine its advanced processing. This article reviews cellulose dissolution using various solvent systems, along with an in-depth exploration of the associated dissolution mechanisms. The efficacy of different solvents, including aqueous solvents, organic solvents, ionic liquids, hybrid ionic liquid/cosolvent systems, and deep eutectic solvents, in dissolving cellulose is scrutinized, and their limitations and advantages are highlighted. In addition, this review methodically outlines the mechanisms at play within these various solvent systems and the factors influencing cellulose solubility. Conclusions drawn highlight the integral roles of the degree of polymerization, crystallinity, particle size, the type and sizes of cations and anions, alkyl chain length, ionic liquid/cosolvent ratio, viscosity, solvent acidity, basicity, and hydrophobic interactions in the dissolution process. This comprehensive review aims to provide valuable insights for researchers investigating biopolymer dissolution in a broader context, thereby paving the way for broader applications and innovations of these solvent systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133012
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Issue numberPart 1
Early online date10 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jun 2024


  • Aqueous solvents
  • Cellulose
  • Deep eutectic solvents
  • Dissolution mechanism
  • Ionic liquids
  • Ionic liquids/cosolvents
  • Organic solvents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this