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Polymers 2016, 8(6), 210;

Correction of MHS Viscosimetric Constants upon Numerical Simulation of Temperature Induced Degradation Kinetic of Chitosan Solutions

DHITECH Scarl, Via Trinchese 61, Lecce 73100, Italy
Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, Via Monteroni, km 1, Lecce 73100, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Naozumi Teramoto
Received: 10 March 2016 / Revised: 4 May 2016 / Accepted: 10 May 2016 / Published: 31 May 2016
PDF [2923 KB, uploaded 31 May 2016]


The Mark–Houwink–Sakurada (MHS) equation allows for estimation of rheological properties, if the molecular weight is known along with good understanding of the polymer conformation. The intrinsic viscosity of a polymer solution is related to the polymer molecular weight according to the MHS equation, where the value of the constants is related to the specific solvent and its concentration. However, MHS constants do not account for other characteristics of the polymeric solutions, i.e., Deacetilation Degree (DD) when the solute is chitosan. In this paper, the degradation of chitosan in different acidic environments by thermal treatment is addressed. In particular, two different solutions are investigated (used as solvent acetic or hydrochloric acid) with different concentrations used for the preparation of chitosan solutions. The samples were treated at different temperatures (4, 30, and 80 °C) and time points (3, 6 and 24 h). Rheological, Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thermal Gravimetric Analyses (TGA) were performed in order to assess the degradation rate of the polymer backbones. Measured values of molecular weight have been integrated in the simulation of the batch degradation of chitosan solutions for evaluating MHS coefficients to be compared with their corresponding experimental values. Evaluating the relationship between the different parameters used in the preparation of chitosan solutions (e.g., temperature, time, acid type and concentration), and their contribution to the degradation of chitosan backbone, it is important to have a mathematical frame that could account for phenomena involved in polymer degradation that go beyond the solvent-solute combination. Therefore, the goal of the present work is to propose an integration of MHS coefficients for chitosan solutions that contemplate a deacetylation degree for chitosan systems or a more general substitution degree for polymers in which viscosity depends not only on molecular weight and solvent combinations. View Full-Text
Keywords: chitosan; kinetic; degradation; acidic environment; numerical simulation chitosan; kinetic; degradation; acidic environment; numerical simulation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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De Benedictis, V.M.; Soloperto, G.; Demitri, C. Correction of MHS Viscosimetric Constants upon Numerical Simulation of Temperature Induced Degradation Kinetic of Chitosan Solutions. Polymers 2016, 8, 210.

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