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A selective fractionation method of lignocellulosic materials using electro-assisted organosolv pretreatment

Sun, Wangqiyue, Othman, Maazuza Z.
Bioresource technology 2019 v.288 pp. 121421
acetates, ambient temperature, capacitance, cellulose, electric power, electrochemistry, fractionation, fuels, ionic liquids, lignin, lignocellulose, solubility, solubilization, waste wood
Lignocellulosic materials (LCMs) extracted from waste-wood products are promising sources of renewable chemicals and fuels. Organosolv pretreatment is commonly used for the fractionation of LCMs; however, these methods require high reaction temperatures, which remain problematic. In this study, room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) and electrochemical conversion were used for LCMs fractionation. This paper presents a modified organosolv pretreatment, termed electro-assisted organosolv pretreatment (EAOP), which utilises gamma-valerolactone and 1-Butyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate as binary solution, in the presence of electrical energy. Importantly, EAOP can selectively fractionate lignin or cellulose at temperatures lower than 80 °C. Cellulose dissolution occurred at 2.4 V whereas lignin dissolution occurred at 4.2 V. A capacitance parameter was established and validated to describe the operating condition and selectively of EAOP. Operations conducted with capacitance less than 2317 F have the potential for cellulose solubilisation, whereas at capacitance exceeding 2317, lignin solubilisation was observed. This study showed that EAOP can overcome organosolv pretreatment shortfalls.