hydrated cellulose[′hī‚drād·əd ′sel·yə‚lōs]
one of the structural modifications of cellulose; it has the same chemical composition as natural cellulose but different properties. It is prepared from natural cellulose by precipitation from solution, by treating cellulose with concentrated (17-35 percent) alkali solutions and then separating the resultant alkaline cellulose, by esterification of the cellulose with subsequent saponification of the ester, or by mechanical milling of the cellulose.
During the formation of hydrated cellulose there is weakening of intermolecular bonds, and consequently also a change in the properties of natural cellulose. Hydrated cellulose is more hygroscopic than natural cellulose, and it has greater dyeability, solubility, and reactivity. The conversion of cellulose into its hydrate is one of the stages in making viscose fibers and cuprammonium fibers.