Patents Review on Lignocellulosic Biomass Processing Using Ionic Liquids
Cristina Jimenez de la Parra,
Maria Dolores Bermejo,
Maria Jose Cocero.
With the depletion of resources, biomass becomes a promising source of chemicals and fuels, currently obtained
from petroleum. Cellulose is the most abundant material produced in earth, but it is difficult to dissolve which
makes its transformation limited. Dissolution of cellulose requires severe temperature, non-conventional solvents and/or
extreme acid or basic conditions. Thus, its processing is very pollutant. Ionic liquids are presented as clean solvents for
cellulose. These are substances composed entirely of ions that are liquid at room temperature. Among other interesting
properties, ionic liquids are non volatile and they are good solvents for a number of substances. Processes for cellulose
processing in ionic liquids have been patented for several applications, the most important being: pre-treatment for biomass
prior to fermentation for bio-ethanol production, hydrolysis for obtaining chemicals from biomass and substitution
reaction for obtaining derivatives of cellulose and other natural polymers.
Keywords: Biomass, bio-ethanol, cellulose, ionic liquids, esters, ethers, lignin, wood, Lignocellulosic Biomass Processing, natural polymers
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