Low temperature ionic liquid pretreatment of biomass
Monday, April 28, 2014
Exhibit/Poster Hall, lower level (Hilton Clearwater Beach)
Samira Vasheghani-Farahani and Constance Ann Schall, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
The high crystallinity of cellulose, while imparting structural integrity and mechanical strength to the material, renders it recalcitrance towards hydrolysis aimed at producing glucose.  In general, neither the water molecules nor the catalysts for hydrolysis (saccharification) are able to easily penetrate the crystalline matrix. These slow reaction rates have been increased by ionic liquids dissolution of cellulose which is capable of dissolving cellulose at various temperatures ranging between 120 and 160oC, resulting in higher digestibility yields. In this study, by coupling a room temperature pretreatment to the ionic liquid pretreatment step we have developed an efficient route which lowers the ionic liquid pretreatment temperature down to low temperatures ranging between 75 and 30oC. Moreover, this method enhances regeneration of the utilized ionic liquid, decreasing ionic liquid makeup for industrial purposes.