Main content area

Influence of ionic-liquid incubation temperature on changes in cellulose structure, biomass composition, and enzymatic digestibility

Barr, Christopher J., Hanson, B. Leif, Click, Kevin, Perrotta, Grace, Schall, Constance A.
Cellulose 2014 v.21 no.2 pp. 973-982
Panicum virgatum, X-radiation, acetates, biomass, cellulose, corn stover, digestibility, drying, glucose, hydrolysis, ionic liquids, lignin, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, temperature, xylan
Varying ionic liquid, 1-ethyl 3-methyl imidazolium acetate, pretreatment incubation temperature on lignocellulosic biomass substrates, corn stover, switchgrass and poplar, can have dramatic effects on the enzymatic digestibility of the resultant regenerated biomass. In order to delineate the chemical and physical changes resulting from the pretreatment process and correlate changes with enzymatic digestibility, X-ray powder and fiber diffraction,¹³C cross polarization/magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and compositional analysis was completed on poplar, corn stover and switchgrass samples. Optimal pretreatment incubation temperatures were most closely associated with the retention of amorphous substrates upon drying of regenerated biomass. Maximal glucan to glucose conversion for 24 h enzyme hydrolysis was observed for corn stover, switchgrass and poplar at ionic liquid incubation temperatures of 100, 110 and 120 °C, respectively. We hypothesize that effective pretreatment temperatures must attain lignin redistribution and retention of xylan for optimal enzyme digestibility.