Why Mercerizing is called a physiochemical Process?

Md Mahedi Hasan

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What is Mercerizing?

Mercerizing: Mercerizing is a physico, chemical process where cotton treated 15-20% soda solution at a temperature of 200-300C

Mercerization Chemical reaction:

C6H7O2(OH)3 + NaOH   C6H7O2(OH)2 (ONa) + H2O

(Cellulose-I) (Alkali Cellulose)

C6H7O2(OH) + NaOH


Why Mercerizing is called a physiochemical Process?


Step-1: Cotton fibre has a kidney shape in x-section with a lumen at the center.

Step-2: Cellulose of the fibre begins to swell into aqueous soln of sodium hydroxide.

step-3: Immediately the fibre becomes elliptical in the X-section.

Step-4: On further swelling, the section pounds off.

Step-5: Fibel width increases at least 25-30%. & cellulose wall swells inwards until the lumen is eliminated -d.

Step-6: When the fibre is washed off, it begins to shrinkage of the cellulose.

Step-7: On drying, a further & final shrinkage occurs & the lumen does not recover.

Benifit of Mercerizing:

  • Improved tensile strength.
  • Improved absorbency
  • Improved dye affinity
  • Improved smoothness
  • Improved lusture

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