With the increasing application and further research of polysaccharides, the development
of new green techniques arouses wide attention from academia and industry.
Due to special physicochemical properties, ionic liquids (ILs) have been applied widely in
carbohydrate chemistry mainly as green and efficient chemical solvents/catalysts for the
degradation, synthesis and modification of polysaccharides. Their roles and potential
should be fully understood by researchers in carbohydrate chemistry. Because of their
unique characters different from other traditional reagents, it is necessary to explore and
review the uses, performance, advantages and disadvantages of ILs in detail. This paper
focuses on the new advances in the application of ILs to the degradation of cellulose together
with the synthesis and modification of polysaccharide; those important findings and
systematic comparison were also introduced. Finally, the key conclusions were provided for related researchers
and their future was analyzed, and this review was supposed to be a useful reference in the cross-subject area
of glycochemistry and green chemistry.
Keywords: Polysaccharides, ionic liquids, degradation, synthesis, modification, green chemistry.
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