CHAPTER 3: Ionic liquid pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass for biofuels and chemicals

Tanmoy Dutta, Jian Shi, Jian Sun, Xin Zhang, Gang Cheng, Blake A. Simmons, Seema Singh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This chapter focuses on the recent development of biomass pre-treatment using ionic liquids (ILs). Lignocellulosic biomass, such as wood, grass, and agricultural residues, are a promising alternative source for the production of renewable fuels and chemicals. Because of the inherent recalcitrance, pre-treatment of lignocellulosic biomass is essential to improve the bioconversion process. Different physical, chemical and physicochemical pre-treatments are reported in literature and each process has its own advantages and disadvantages. Ionic liquids (ILs) are promising solvents for biomass pre-treatment as some ILs are capable of completely solubilizing lignocellulosic biomass and the biomass can then be regenerated upon addition of a suitable anti-solvent. Dissolution in IL drives structural changes in the regenerated biomass, making it easier to hydrolyse. The chapter starts with an overview of biomass and different emerging pre-treatment technologies, with an emphasis on IL-based pre-treatment technology. This section covers the history along with a concise literature review of different IL-based pre-treatment processes. The second section is devoted to IL pre-treatment chemistry and cellulose-IL interaction, with a short discussion of lignin and its prospects for the production of renewable platform chemicals. The last part of this chapter outlines the challenges and opportunities of the emerging IL pre-treatment technology in a biorefinery concept and provides concluding remarks on the outlook for the biorefinery.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicrowave-Assisted Polymerization
EditorsRafal Bogel-Lukasik
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781782620396, 9781782621133, 9781782621409, 9781782623175, 9781782624677, 9781849738163, 9781849739597, 9781849739764, 9781849739795
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameRSC Green Chemistry
ISSN (Print)1757-7039
ISSN (Electronic)1757-7047

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2016.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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