Water-soluble O-acetyl galactoglucomannan (GGM) is a softwood-derived polysaccharide, which can be extracted on an industrial scale from wood or mechanical pulping waters and now is available in kilogram scale for research and development of value-added products. To develop applications of GGM, information is needed on its stability in acidic conditions. The kinetics of acid hydrolysis of GGM was studied at temperatures up to 90°C in the pH range of 1-3. Molar mass and molar mass distribution were determined using size exclusion chromatography with multiangle laser light scattering and refractive index detection. The molar mass of GGM decreased considerably with treatment time at temperatures above 70°C and pH below 2. The molar mass distribution broadened with hydrolysis time. A first-order kinetic model was found to match the acid hydrolysis. The reaction rate constants at various pH values and temperatures were calculated on the basis of the first-order kinetic model. Furthermore, the activation energy, E, was obtained from the Arrhenius plot. The activation energy E was 150 kJ mol-1 for acid hydrolysis of spruce GGM. The apparent rate constant during acid hydrolysis increased by a factor of 10 with a decrease in pH by 1 unit, regardless of temperature. In addition, gas chromatography and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry were applied to study the released GGM monomers and oligomers.
- Acid hydrolysis