Abstract

We describe a new technique for studying thermally induced chemical transformations in cellulose. The apparatus consists of a carbon dioxide laser for heating, an IR thermometer, and an optical reflectance spectrometer for tracking the progressive discoloration of the sample. To illustrate the technique, we present measurements from a single piece of sample linen along five isotherms in the 200–290°C range. We derive an algebraic expression for the reflectivity of the sample as a function of the areal concentrations of the chromophoric states produced at temperature. The results are then explained in terms of first-order chemical rate theory and a four-step model. From the measurements we derive the activation energies, Arrhenius constants, and reflectivities of the chromophoric states.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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