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J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Aug 24;59(16):8691-701. doi: 10.1021/jf201508g. Epub 2011 Jul 20.

Fractionation of bagasse into cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin with ionic liquid treatment followed by alkaline extraction.

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State Key Laboratory of Pulp and Paper Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.


Lignocellulose materials are potentially valuable resources for transformation into biofuels and bioproducts. However, their complicated structures make it difficult to fractionate them into cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin, which limits their utilization and economical conversion into value-added products. This study proposes a novel and feasible fractionation method based on complete dissolution of bagasse in 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ([C(4)mim]Cl) followed by precipitation in acetone/water (9:1, v/v) and extraction with 3% NaOH solution. The ionic liquid [C(4)mim]Cl was easily recycled after concentration and treatment with acetonitrile. (1)H NMR analysis confirmed that there was no obvious difference between the recycled [C(4)mim]Cl and fresh material. Bagasse was fractionated with this method to 36.78% cellulose, 26.04% hemicelluloses, and 10.51% lignin, accounting for 47.17 and 33.85% of the original polysaccharides and 54.62% of the original lignin, respectively. The physicochemical properties of the isolated fractions were characterized by chemical analysis, high-performance anion exchange chromatography (HPAEC), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), and (1)H and 2D (13)C-(1)H correlation (HSQC) nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The results showed that the acetone-soluble lignin and alkaline lignin fractions had structures similar to those of milled wood lignin (MWL). The easy extraction of the noncellulose components from homogeneous bagasse solution and amorphous regenerated materials resulted in the relatively high purity of cellulosic fraction (>92%). The hemicellulosic fraction was mainly 4-O-methyl-D-glucuronoxylans with some α-L-arabinofuranosyl units substituted at C-2 and C-3.

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