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Pretreatment of rice straw with ammonia and ionic liquid for lignocellulose conversion to fermentable sugars

Bioresource Technology 101(19):7432 (2010) PMID 20466540

Pretreatment technology is a prerequisite to facilitate the release of sugars from a lignocellulosic biomass prior to fermentation. Recently, some pretreatment methods have been tried with ionic liquids, but they were still expensive and unpractical. In this study, an efficient pretreatment method using ammonia and ionic liquid was developed for the recovery of bio-digestible cellulose from a lignocellulosic byproduct, rice straw, and the increase of ionic liquid utilization. The combined use of ammonia and ionic liquid ([Emim]Ac) treatment exhibited a synergy effect for rice straw with 82% of the cellulose recovery and 97% of the enzymatic glucose conversion. This cooperative effect showed over 90% of the glucose conversion even with a reduced enzyme usage and incubation time. The ionic liquid was successfully recycled more than 20 times. The 20th-recycled ([Emim]Ac) showed 74% of the cellulose recovery and 78% of the glucose conversion to rice straw. Compared with the conventional pretreatment, our combined method for lignocellulosic biomass pretreatment was an economical and eco-friendly.

DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2010.04.053