The effect of switchable ionic liquid (SIL) treatment on the composition and crystallinity of birch chips (Betula pendula) using a novel alkanol amine-organic superbase-derived SIL

Ikenna Anugwom, Valerie Eta, Päivi Mäki-Arvela, Pasi Virtanen, Manu Lahtinen, Jyri-Pekka Mikkola

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    Two-step treatment of birch chips (Betula pendula) was tested using diethanolamine (DEA)-1,8-diazabicyclo-[5.4.0]-undec-7-ene (DBU)-CO2-switchable ionic liquid (SIL), resulting in a 23% weight reduction in 24 h. The weight of the chips was reduced to 32% of their initial weight upon the second treatment with fresh SIL. SIL to wood ratio of 5:1, at 100°C for 24 h, without stirring, was applied in both steps. The relative amount of wood lignin reduced from 24% to 14% after two treatment cycles. The relative amount of cellulose of the undissolved fraction after SIL treatment increased from 43% (native birch wood) to 68% after the second cycle. Also, the undissolved material was efficiently fibrillated. The dissolved materials recovered from spent SIL, after treatment, contained high xylan content, about 90% of the total hemicelluloses, which was 85% of the recovered material. The powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) results revealed that the crystallinity of the undissolved material increased slightly, indicating dissolution of the amorphous material. Moreover, transformation of cellulose form I to form II in the remaining undissolved chips was not observed.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)147–154
    JournalGreen Processing and Synthesis
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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