Overcome the recalcitrance of eucalyptus bark to enzymatic hydrolysis by concerted ionic liquid pretreatment
•Partial hemicellulose removal in addition to lignin removal significantly increases the sugar yield.•Protic ionic liquid and aprotic ionic liquid show synergistic effect in reducing the recalcitrance of biomass.•Low cost of the protic ionic liquid component makes the CIL pretreatment more economically attractive.
A novel pretreatment method-concerted ionic liquid (CIL) pretreatment was proposed and the mechanism of CIL pretreatment to overcome the recalcitrance of biomass was investigated in this study. The CIL refers to a combination of a protic ionic liquid (PIL) pyrrolidinium acetate ([Pyrr][AC]) and an aprotic ionic liquid (AIL) 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([BMIM][AC]) in varied proportion. In the CIL system, [Pyrr][AC] selectively dissolves lignin from biomass and [BMIM][AC] dissolves part of cellulose and hemicelluloses. Besides lignin, hemicelluloses are also an important factor of biomass recalcitrance. Optimized [BMIM][AC] fraction in the CIL pretreatment resulted in the efficient removal of lignocellulose complex while [Pyrr][AC] selectively fractionated lignin component. CILs exhibited superior efficiency in overcoming the recalcitrance of eucalyptus bark over that of the individual constituent ionic liquids. Compared to pretreatments by individual ILs of the pair, the CIL pretreatment increased the glucose yield by 30% from the cellulose of eucalyptus bark. High cellulose conversion of 91% (wt%) was achieved from enzymatic conversion of eucalyptus bark by optimizing the lignin and hemicelluloses removal.
Graphical abstractFigure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload as PowerPoint slide
Journal: Process Biochemistry - Volume 50, Issue 12, December 2015, Pages 2208–2214