Plant-derived cellulose (PC) and bacterial cellulose (BC) show poor solubility in common solvents due to the strong inter and intramolecular hydrogen bonding supported by a rigid backbone structure. Dissolving cellulose is the foremost requirement in order to facilitate the application of cellulose to develop various high-end applications like membrane filter, template for drug delivery, agro chemicals, hydrogel, etc. The present investigation was aimed at developing a solvent-based method to dissolve the bacterial cellulose (BC), an exopolysaccharide produced by the gram-negative strain Acetobacter senegalensis MA1 in order to widen the BC application more specifically in packaging, food and pharma industries. Two solvents namely trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) and dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO) were employed as a uni-component in three different conditions viz., conventional (60°C), microwave and cold treatment (0°C) and the results revealed that microwave treatment facilitated early dissolution of BC. Furthermore, FT-IR analysis of the regenerated BC (BC-R) confirmed the absence of TFA, suggesting that all the TFA might have volatilized during the regeneration process. The volatilizing of TFA during the process of regeneration favours the usage of this solvent for the fabrication of BC nanofibres via electrospinning, which finds applications in various fields.
Key words : Bacterial cellulose (BC), Dissolution, Solvent system and Trifluoroacetic acid (TFA)