4.8 Review

Ionic liquid based pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass for enhanced bioconversion

Journal

BIORESOURCE TECHNOLOGY
Volume 304, Issue -, Pages -

Publisher

ELSEVIER SCI LTD
DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2020.123003

Keywords

Lignocellulosic biomass; Ionic liquids; Pretreatment; Enzymatic hydrolysis; Biorefinery

Funding

  1. European Union [621364]
  2. ongoing project-VALORTECH from the EU's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program [810630]

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Lignocellulosic biomass is the most plentiful renewable biomolecule and an alternative bioresource for the production of biofuels and biochemicals in biorefineries. But biomass recalcitrance is a bottleneck in their usage, thus necessitating their pretreatment for hydrolysis. Most pretreatment technologies, result in toxic by-products or have lower yield. Ionic liquids (ILs) have successfully advanced as 'greener and recyclable' alternatives to volatile organic solvents for lignocellulosic biomass dissolution. This review covers recent developments made in usage of IL-based techniques with focus on biomass breakdown mechanism, process parameter design, impact of cation and anion groups, and the advantageous impact of ILs on the subsequent processing of the fractionated biomass. Progress and barriers for large-scale commercial usage of ILs in emerging biorefineries were critically evaluated using the principles of economies of scale and green chemistry in an environmentally sustainable way.

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