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Bioresour Technol. 2013 May;135:103-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.06.096. Epub 2012 Jul 5.

Low melting point pyridinium ionic liquid pretreatment for enhancing enzymatic saccharification of cellulosic biomass.

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  • 1Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Fukuoka 819-0395, Japan.


The potential of 1-hexylpyridinium chloride ([Hpy][Cl]), to pretreat cellulosic feedstocks was investigated using microcrystalline cellulose (Avicel) and Bagasse at 80 °C or 100 °C. Short [Hpy][Cl] pretreatments, <30 min, at lower temperature accelerate subsequent enzymatic saccharification of Avicel. Over 95% conversion of pretreated Avicel to glucose was attained after 24h enzymatic saccharification under optimal conditions, whereas regenerated Bagasse showed 1-3-fold higher conversion than untreated biomass. FT-IR analysis of both Avicel and Bagasse samples pretreated with [Hpy][Cl] or 1-ethyl-3-methyimidazolium acetate ([Emim][OAc]) revealed that these ionic liquids behaved differently during pretreatment. [Hpy][Cl] pretreatment for an extended duration (180 min) released mono- and disaccharides without using cellulase enzymes, suggesting [Hpy][Cl] has capability for direct saccharification of cellulosic feedstocks. On the basis of the results obtained, [Hpy][Cl] pretreatment enhanced initial reaction rates in enzymatic saccharification by either crystalline polymorphic alteration of cellulose or partial degradation of the crystalline cellulosic fraction in biomass.

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