Abundant availability of biomass is a greener and bio-renewable resource to govern the bio-based economy
by synthesizing energy-rich chemicals. Amongst twelve speciality chemicals, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-
HMF) is a potential building block component to synthesize a variety of industrially important organic moieties. In
recent times, considerable attention and many efforts have been made by various researchers to produce 5-HMF
from lingo-cellulosic biomass. However, efficient production of 5-HMF suffers from various difficulties due to the
need of specific solvent and catalytic system. For this purpose, the use of ionic liquid (ILs) has received a special
attention. This is because of its enormous potential to work as a “designer solvent” and “catalyst”. This review article
mainly focusses on the current research involving the use of ILs as a solvent and catalyst for production of 5-
HMF. Various functions of ILs and reaction parameters are discussed in detail with the literature to understand the exact role of IL. Furthermore,
an outline of challenges and opportunities related to the use of ILs for 5-HMF production is presented.
Keywords: Ionic liquids, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF), green synthesis, lignocellulosic biomass conversion.
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