Towards optimal selective fractionation for Nordic woody biomass using novel amine-organic superbase derived switchable ionic liquids (SILs)

Ikenna Anugwom, Valerie Eta, Pasi Virtanen, Päivi Mäki-Arvela, Mattias Hedenström, Ma Yibo, Micheal Hummel, Herbert Sixta, Jyri-Pekka Mikkola

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    Improved fractionation process conditions for wood dissolution with switchable ionic liquids (SILs) were determined. The short time, high temperature (STHT) system was introduced as a selective and efficient way to extract components from lignocellulosic material. A SIL based on monoethanol amine (MEA) and 1,8-diazabicyclo-[ 5.4.0]-undec-7-ene (DBU) formed via coupling with SO2, was applied as a solvent in a 1: 3 weight ratio with water. In essence, selective dissolution of mainly lignin was achieved by means of the aqueous SIL at 160 degrees C (similar to 6.1 bar corresponding to the vapor pressure of water) in 2 h and in a pressure vessel, for both hard-and soft-wood. About 95 wt-% of wood lignin was extracted. The dissolved components in the spent SIL were recovered by the addition of an antisolvent whereupon over 70% of the dissolved components were recovered; the recovered fraction contained 19 wt-% hemicellulose while the rest of the material was in essence lignin. The non-dissolved, fluffy material contained similar to 70 wt-% cellulose and similar to 20 wt-% hemicellulose - a consistency resembling that of Kraft pulp.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)373–381
    JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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