January 1, 2010.
One of the most successful methods for the pretreatment of biomass is the use of Ionic Liquids (IL). However, the cost associated with IL prohibits it from being plausible for mass production of bioethanol. In order to decrease the cost of this pretreatment method, the recyclability ILs was tested by performing a series of pretreatments on Eucalyptus globulus. The IL used was 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C2mim][OAc]). The IL from each series was recovered, dried and reused for the following series. It was determined that there was a significant reduction in the enzymatic hydrolysis yields after the first and subsequent recycling steps, and a significant amount of IL was lost in each round of recycling.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)