Lo-line Gel Permeation Chromatography/Fourier Transform Infrared (GPC/FT-IR) spectroscopy has been used to develop a method for the determination of the nitrogen content of cellulose nitrates. The method is based upon the solution infrared spectrum of the cellulose derivative in tetrahydrofuran. Making use of the second derivative of the spectra, wherein antisymmetric ONO stretches for both primary and secondary carbon nitration are discernible, has eliminated the relative concentration dependence of the absorption. This feature has permitted the determination of the nitrogen content of cellulose nitrates throughout their molecular weight distribution.
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