Skip to main content
Log in

Utilization of inorganic salts as adjuvants for ionic liquid–water pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass: enzymatic hydrolysis and ionic liquid recycle

  • Original Article
  • Published:
3 Biotech Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass with ionic liquids (ILs) for the large-scale biorefinery remains challenging due to its high price. This study focused on the utilization of inorganic salts as adjuvants for ionic liquid–water pretreatment to improve the tolerance to water and the reusability of the ILs. After the pretreatment of rice straw by the mixture of 40% 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ([C2mim]Cl) + 53% water + 7% K2CO3 at 110 °C for 1 h, the residues became highly susceptible to enzymatic hydrolysis; 93.70% of lignin was removed, and 92.07% sugar yield was achieved. [C2mim]Cl-K2CO3 aqueous biphasic system was formed at room temperature when K2CO3 concentration increased to more than 30%, and the [C2mim]Cl recovery of 94.32% was achieved. The results indicate that the addition of inorganic salts to IL aqueous solutions can significantly reduce the cost of IL pretreatment, while maintaining an efficient enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Aid T, Hyvarinen S, Vaher M, Koel M, Mikkola JP (2016) Saccharification of lignocellulosic biomasses via ionic liquid pretreatment. Ind Crop Prod 92:336–341

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bahcegul E, Apaydin S, Haykir NI, Tatli E, Bakir U (2012) Different ionic liquids favor different lignocellulosic biomass particle sizes during pretreatment to function efficiently. Green Chem 14:1896–1903

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Brandt A, Ray MJ, To TQ, Leak DJ, Murphy RJ, Welton T (2012) Ionic liquid pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass with ionic liquid–water mixtures. Green Chem 13:2489–2499

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chang KL, Chen XM, Wang XQ, Han YJ, Potprommanee L, Liu JY, Liao YL, Ning XA, Sun SY, Huang Q (2017) Impact of surfactant type for ionic liquid pretreatment on enhancing delignification of rice straw. Bioresour Technol 227:388–392

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Chen Z, Reznicek WD, Wan CX (2018) Deep eutectic solvent pretreatment enabling full utilization of switchgrass. Bioresour Technol 263:40–48

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Cheng F, Zhao X, Hu Y (2018) Lignocellulosic biomass delignification using aqueous alcohol solutions with the catalysis of acidic ionic liquids: a comparison study of solvents. Bioresour Technol 249:969–975

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Dibble DC, Li C, Sun L, George A, Cheng A, Cetinkol OP, Benke P, Holmes BM, Singh S, Simmons BA (2011) A facile method for the recovery of ionic liquid and lignin from biomass pretreatment. Green Chem 13:3255–3264

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Elgharbawy AA, Alam MZ, Moniruzzaman M, Goto M (2016) Ionic liquid pretreatment as emerging approaches for enhanced enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass. Biochem Eng J 109:252–267

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Freire MG, Claudio AFM, Araujo JMM, Coutinho JAP, Marrucho IM, Canongia Lopes JN, Rebelo LPN (2012) Aqueous biphasic systems: a boost brought about by using ionic liquids. Chem Soc Rev 41:4966–4995

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Gao J, Chen L, Yuan K, Huang H, Yan Z (2013) Ionic liquid pretreatment to enhance the anaerobic digestion of lignocellulosic biomass. Bioresour Technol 150:352–358

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Gao J, Guo J, Nie F, Ji H, Liu S (2017) LCST-type phase behavior of aqueous biphasic systems composed of phosphonium-based ionic liquids and potassium phosphate. J Chem Eng Data 62:1335–1340

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Gao J, Zheng C, Tan T, Liu S, Ji H (2018) Enhanced saccharification of rice straw using combined ultra-high pressure and ionic liquid microemulsion pretreatments. 3 Biotech 8:208

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gutowski KE, Broker GA, Willauer HD, Huddleston JG, Swatloski RP, Holbrey JD, Rogers RD (2003) Controlling the aqueous miscibility of ionic liquids: aqueous biphasic systems of water-miscible ionic liquids and water-structuring salts for recycle, metathesis, and separations. J Am Chem Soc 125:6632–6633

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Haykir NI, Bahcegul E, Bicak N, Bakir U (2013) Pretreatment of cotton stalk with ionic liquids including 2-hydroxy ethyl ammonium formate to enhance biomass digestibility. Ind Crop Prod 41:430–436

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hegde GA, Bharadwaj VS, Kinsinger CL, Schutt TC, Pisierra NR, Maupin CM (2016) Impact of water dilution and cation tail length on ionic liquid characteristics: interplay between polar and non-polar interactions. J Chem Phys 145:105–128

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hongkulsup C, Khutoryanskiy VV, Niranjan K (2016) Enzyme assisted extraction of chitin from shrimp shells (Litopenaeus vannamei). J Chem Technol Bio 91:1250–1256

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hou Q, Ju M, Li W, Liu L, Chen Y, Yang Q (2017) Pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass with ionic liquids and ionic liquid-based solvent systems. Molecules 22:490

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jönsson LJ, Martín C (2016) Pretreatment of lignocellulose: formation of inhibitory by-products and strategies for minimizing their effects. Bioresour Technol 199:103–112

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kohno Y, Nakamura N, Ohno H (2012) Selective transport of water-soluble proteins from aqueous to ionic liquid phase via a temperature-sensitive phase change of these mixtures. Aust J Chem 65:1548–1553

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Li Q, He YC, Xian M, Jun G, Xu X, Yang JM, Li LZ (2009) Improving enzymatic hydrolysis of wheat straw using ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium diethyl phosphate pretreatment. Bioresour Technol 100:3570–3575

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Liu W, Chen W, Hou Q, Wang S, Liu F (2018) Effects of combined pretreatment of dilute acid pre-extraction and chemical-assisted mechanical refining on enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass. RSC Adv 8:10207–10214

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Louros CLS, Claacuteudio AFM, Neves CMSS, Freire MG, Marrucho IM, Pauly J, Coutinho JAP (2010) Extraction of biomolecules using phosphonium-based ionic liquids + K3PO4 aqueous biphasic systems. Int J Mol Sci 11:1777–1791

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Mazza M, Catana DA, Vaca-Garcia C, Cecutti C (2009) Influence of water on the dissolution of cellulose in selected ionic liquids. Cellulose 16:207–215

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Mourão T, Cláudio AFM, Boal-Palheiros I, Freire MG, Coutinho JAP (2012) Evaluation of the impact of phosphate salts on the formation of ionic-liquid-based aqueous biphasic systems. J Chem Thermodyn 54:398–405

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nazari B, Utomo NW, Colby RH (2017) The effect of water on rheology of native cellulose/ionic liquids solutions. Biomacromolecule 18:2849–2857

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Niazi AA, Rabideau BD, Ismail AE (2013) Effects of water concentration on the structural and diffusion properties of imidazolium-based ionic liquid–water mixtures. J Phys Chem B 117:1378–1388

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pan MZ, Zhao GM, Ding CX, Wu B, Lian ZN, Lian HL (2017) Physicochemical transformation of rice straw after pretreatment with a deep eutectic solvent of choline chloride/urea. Carbohydr Polym 176:307–314

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ren H, Zong MH, Wu H, Li N (2016) Utilization of seawater for the biorefinery of lignocellulosic biomass: ionic liquid pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and microbial lipid production. ACS Sustain Chem Eng 4:5659–5666

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Shahriari S, Neves CMSS, Freire MG, Coutinho JAP (2012) Role of the Hofmeister series in the formation of ionic-liquid-based aqueous biphasic systems. J Phys Chem B 116:7252–7258

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Silva SS, Mano JF, Reis RL (2017) Ionic liquids in the processing and chemical modification of chitin and chitosan for biomedical applications. Green Chem 19:1208–1220

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Sluiter A, Hames B, Ruiz R, Scarlata C, Sluiter J, Templeton D, Crocker D (2008) Determination of structural carbohydrates and lignin in biomass. NREL/TP-510–42618. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, Colorado

  • Swatloski RP, Spear SK, Holbrey JD, Rogers RD (2002) Dissolution of cellose with ionic liquids. J Am Chem Soc 124:4974–4975

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Uju Goto M, Kamiya N (2016) Powerful peracetic acid-ionic liquid pretreatment process for the efficient chemical hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass. Bioresour Technol 214:487–495

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ventura SPM, Sousa SG, Serafim LS, Lima AS, Freire MG, Coutinho JAP (2012) Ionic-liquid-based aqueous biphasic systems with controlled pH: the ionic liquid anion effect. J Chem Eng Data 57:507–512

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Zhang J, Feng L, Wang D, Zhang R, Liu G, Cheng G (2014) Thermogravimetric analysis of lignocellulosic biomass with ionic liquid pretreatment. Bioresour Technol 153:379–382

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Zhang Q, Hu J, Lee DJ (2017) Pretreatment of biomass using ionic liquids: research updates. Renew Energ 11:77–84

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Fund for National Natural Science Foundation of China (21706040), and Guangdong Province Innovation School Project (230419064).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jing Gao.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (PDF 86 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gao, J., Chen, C., Wang, L. et al. Utilization of inorganic salts as adjuvants for ionic liquid–water pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass: enzymatic hydrolysis and ionic liquid recycle. 3 Biotech 9, 264 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13205-019-1788-3

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13205-019-1788-3

Keywords

Navigation