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J Hazard Mater. 2014 May 15;272:137-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2014.02.039. Epub 2014 Mar 12.

Photooxidation of cellulose nitrate: new insights into degradation mechanisms.

Author information

1
Clermont Université, Université Blaise Pascal, Institut de Chimie de Clermont-Ferrand, BP 10448, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France; Clermont Université, ENSCCF, Institut de Chimie de Clermont-Ferrand, BP 10448, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France.
2
Clermont Université, Université Blaise Pascal, Institut de Chimie de Clermont-Ferrand, BP 10448, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France; CNRS, UMR 6296, ICCF, BP 80026, F-63171 Aubiere, France.
3
Clermont Université, Université Blaise Pascal, Institut de Chimie de Clermont-Ferrand, BP 10448, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France; CNRS, UMR 6296, ICCF, BP 80026, F-63171 Aubiere, France. Electronic address: sandrine.therias@univ-bpclermont.fr.

Abstract

Cellulose nitrate (or nitrocellulose) has received considerable interest due to its uses in various applications, such as paints, photographic films and propellants. However, it is considered as one of the primary pollutants in the energetic material industries because it can be degraded to form polluting chemical species. In this work, the UV light degradation of cellulose nitrate films was studied under conditions of artificially accelerated photooxidation. To eliminate the reactivity of nitro groups, the degradation of ethylcellulose was also investigated. Infrared spectroscopy analyses of the chemical modifications caused by the photooxidation of cellulose nitrate films and the resulting formation of volatile products revealed the occurrence of de-nitration and the formation of oxidation photoproducts exhibiting lactone and anhydride functions. The impact of these chemical modifications on the mechanical and thermal properties of cellulose nitrate films includes embrittlement and lower temperatures of ignition when used as a propellant.

KEYWORDS:

Cellulose nitrate; Photooxidation; Propellants; UV light

PMID:
24685530
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhazmat.2014.02.039
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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