, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 323–338 | Cite as

Enhanced deconstruction and dissolution of lignocellulosic biomass in ionic liquid at high water content by lithium chloride

  • Zhiqiang Pang
  • Cuihua Dong
  • Xuejun Pan
Original Paper


Fabricating an aqueous ionic liquid (IL) for deconstruction and dissolution of lignocellulose is attractive because addition of water could reduce the cost and viscosity of the solvent and improve the biomass processing, but the solvating power of the IL is usually depressed in the presence of water. In the present study, an aqueous IL consisting of 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (BmimCl), water, and lithium chloride was fabricated for efficient deconstruction and dissolution of lignocellulose (bamboo). The dissolution of cell wall components (cellulose, lignin, and hemicelluloses) in the aqueous IL was investigated. The results indicated that the presence of water significantly reduced the solvating power of BmimCl; For example, 11.5 % water decreased the dissolution of bamboo in BmimCl from ~97 to ~53 %. Dissolution of cellulose and lignin was specifically depressed. However, addition of lithium chloride was able to improve the tolerance of BmimCl to water and enhance the deconstruction and dissolution of biomass in BmimCl with high water content. It was found that approximately 80 % bamboo could be dissolved in solvent consisting of 45 wt% BmimCl and 55 wt% LiCl·2H2O (25 wt% overall water content in the solvent). In particular, lignin and hemicelluloses were selectively dissolved by 96 and 92 %, respectively. The undissolved residue was predominantly composed of cellulose (~86 %) with a small amount of lignin (<5 %). BmimCl-LiCl-H2O is a promising and effective solvent system with low cost and viscosity for biomass processing.


Aqueous ionic liquid Lignocellulose deconstruction Fractionation Lithium chloride BmimCl 



The authors are grateful for financial support from the National Science Foundation of China (31370580), Special Fund of Taishan Scholar Project, Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (ZR2015CM006), and Talented Scientist Funding of Shandong Province (BS2013HZ020) to Z.P. and for NSF (CBET 1159561) and WARF Accelerator grants to X.P.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Pulp and Paper Science and Technology of Ministry of EducationQilu University of TechnologyJinanChina
  2. 2.Department of Biological Systems EngineeringUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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