Deconstruction of the green alga Ulva rigida in ionic liquids: closing the mass balance

Ricardo Pezoa Conte, A. Leyton, I. Anugwom, Sebastian von Schoultz, J. Paranko, Päivi Mäki-Arvela, Stefan Willför, M. Muszyński, J. Nowicki, ME Lienqueo, Jyri-Pekka Mikkola

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Algae are known to grow at high rates compared to terrestrial plants that contain comparable amounts of carbohydrates by weight. Therefore, this renders them attractive in terms of any biorefinery concept. In this work the green alga Ulva rigida, containing 40wt.% of carbohydrateswas pretreatedwith a switchable ionic liquid (SIL), distillable ionic liquid (DIL) and low-viscosity ionic liquid (LVIL). The SIL  DBU–MEA–SO2 was prepared from a mixture of mono-ethanolamine (MEA) and  1,8-diazabicyclo-[5,4,0]-undec-7-ene (DBU) that was coupled with sulfur dioxide  (SO2), whereas the DIL [TMGH+][EtCO2−] (1,1,3,3-tetramethylguanidine propionate)  was synthesized by a simple acid–base neutralization reaction. Consequently, the LVIL [HDBU+][5OF−] protonated 1,8-diazabicyclo-[5,4,0]-undec-7-ene- 2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5-octafluoro-1-pentoxide was used as received. The treatments were carried out in the temperature range of 100–160 °C for 6 h. The products obtained after the treatments  were analyzed using different techniques like ICP, OES, SEM, TEM, TGA, FTIR and carbohydrate determination by GC. Upon treatment with DIL up to 67 wt.% of carbohydrates could be dissolved. For the first time, processing of U. rigida was carried out in ionic liquids so that the mass balance of the process was obtained. It can be concluded that 1,1,3,3-tetramethylguanidine propionate shows significant potential when aiming at releasing carbohydrates from algal biomass that, consequently, can be applied in the production of platform chemicals and/or biofuels such as bioethanol.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)262–273
JournalAlgal Research
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Green Alga
  • Ionic liquids
  • Biomass
  • bioethanol
  • Biorefinery
  • Dissolution

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