The Dissolution of Biomass in Ionic Liquids Towards Pre-Treatment Approach
Fossil resources are no longer regarded as sustainable sources of energy and chemical commodities. The quest for sustainable and environmentally benign sources of energy has become crucial in recent years. Biofuels produced from biomass feedstock derived from plants, such as wood, from by-products of food production and from grasses have been considered to be valuable alternatives as energy sources. However, lignocellulosic feedstock conversion processes are challenging due to their recalcitrant nature to enzymatic or chemical hydrolysis. Pre-treatment of the biomass feedstock is necessary to allow for enzyme digestibility of the cellulosic material present in the plant cell walls. This chapter describes the pre-treatment of biomass based on ionic liquids (ILs). Several parameters that affect biomass pre-treatment using ILs, such as the influence of biomass type, loading and particle size and experimental conditions, and ILs physical properties are disclosed.