The Existence of the Cellobiose Residue in Cellulose


THE chemical evidence for the view that cellobiose is preformed in cellulose is considerably strengthened by some observations we have made on the acetolysis of trimethyl cellulose. Under mild conditions of treatment at low temperatures fully methylated cellulose suffers cleavage to give a diacetyl-hexa-methyl cellobiose, which is readily transformed into crystalline heptamethyl β-methylcellobioside. The experimental conditions under which this derivative of cellobiose is isolated preclude its occurrence as a reversion product of the reaction. Moreover, the yield of the crystalline β-cellobioside is equal to that of cellobiose octa-acetate obtained by the direct acetolysis of cellulose.

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HAWORTH, W., HIRST, E. & THOMAS, H. The Existence of the Cellobiose Residue in Cellulose. Nature 126, 438 (1930).

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