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Issue 37, 2013
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Enhancement of ionic liquid-aided fractionation of birchwood. Part 1: autohydrolysis pretreatment

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Abstract

Ionic liquid-cosolvent systems have been proposed as selective solvent media for lignocellulosic materials. We present the ionic liquid-aided fractionation of silver birch (Betula pendula) combined with an autohydrolysis pretreatment. Contrary to untreated birchwood meal, autohydrolyzed birchwood meal reveals quantitative dissolution in 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate and distinct separation into the individual wood polymers upon regeneration in acetone/water. The process yields two main fractions, a cellulose-rich precipitate with a residual lignin content of 13–15% and another virtually pure lignin fraction. No cellulose yield loss is observed during the ionic liquid processing step. A comprehensive mass balance of the process, including insoluble material, wash waters, and soluble residues, is provided. The product fractions are characterised for their chemical compositions, molar mass distributions and structural characteristics by Klason lignin and sugar analysis, 13C NMR, GPC and WAXS. The study investigates the effects of wood particle size and autohydrolysis intensity on fractionation efficiency and selectivity.

Graphical abstract: Enhancement of ionic liquid-aided fractionation of birchwood. Part 1: autohydrolysis pretreatment

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Article information


Submitted
28 Mar 2013
Accepted
09 Jul 2013
First published
10 Jul 2013

RSC Adv., 2013,3, 16365-16373
Article type
Paper

Enhancement of ionic liquid-aided fractionation of birchwood. Part 1: autohydrolysis pretreatment

L. K. J. Hauru, Y. Ma, M. Hummel, M. Alekhina, A. W. T. King, I. Kilpeläinen, P. A. Penttilä, R. Serimaa and H. Sixta, RSC Adv., 2013, 3, 16365
DOI: 10.1039/C3RA41529E

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