BioEnergy Research

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 719–724 | Cite as

Degradation of Untreated Switchgrass Biomass into Reducing Sugars in 1-(Alkylsulfonic)-3-Methylimidazolium Brönsted Acidic Ionic Liquid Medium Under Mild Conditions

  • Ananda S. AmarasekaraEmail author
  • Preethi Shanbhag


Switchgrass biomass samples collected at three different stages of maturity were seen degrading into reducing sugars and glucose when exposed to 1-(alkylsulfonic)-3-methylimidazolium Brönsted acidic ionic liquids under thermal and microwave conditions. The highest reducing sugar (58.1 ± 2.1 %) and glucose (15.3 ± 0.5 %) yields were obtained for switchgrass samples dissolved in 1-(butylsulfonic)-3-methylimidazolium chloride ionic liquid by heating at 70 °C for 1 h followed by treatment with 0.22 g water/g switchgrass and then heating at 70 °C for 1 h for the hydrolysis of polysaccharides. The samples treated under microwave conditions produced relatively lower yields of reducing sugar (22.0 ± 1.5–37.2 ± 1.8 %) and glucose (8.0 ± 0.2–12.8 ± 0.4 %) yields, compared to heat-treated samples.


Switchgrass Biomass Ionic liquid Reducing sugars Glucose 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Kenneth P. Vogel of USDA-ARS, University of Nebraska—Lincoln for switchgrass samples. Financial support from Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis, University of Kansas, American Chemical Society PRF grant UR1-49436, NSF grant CBET-0929970, USDA grant, and CBG-2010-38821-21569 is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryPrairie View A&M UniversityPrairie ViewUSA

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