Advertisement

Ionic liquid-mediated selective extraction of lignin from wood leading to enhanced enzymatic cellulose hydrolysis

Authors

  • Sang Hyun Lee,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180; telephone: 518-355-4062; fax: 518-276-2207
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Thomas V. Doherty,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Robert J. Linhardt,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180; telephone: 518-355-4062; fax: 518-276-2207
    2. Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
    3. Department of Biology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
    4. Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jonathan S. Dordick

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180; telephone: 518-355-4062; fax: 518-276-2207
    2. Department of Biology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
    3. Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180; telephone: 518-355-4062; fax: 518-276-2207.
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Lignocellulose represents a key sustainable source of biomass for transformation into biofuels and bio-based products. Unfortunately, lignocellulosic biomass is highly recalcitrant to biotransformation, both microbial and enzymatic, which limits its use and prevents economically viable conversion into value-added products. As a result, effective pretreatment strategies are necessary, which invariably involves high energy processing or results in the degradation of key components of lignocellulose. In this work, the ionic liquid, 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([Emim][CH3COO]), was used as a pretreatment solvent to extract lignin from wood flour. The cellulose in the pretreated wood flour becomes far less crystalline without undergoing solubilization. When 40% of the lignin was removed, the cellulose crystallinity index dropped below 45, resulting in >90% of the cellulose in wood flour to be hydrolyzed by Trichoderma viride cellulase. [Emim] [CH3COO] was easily reused, thereby resulting in a highly concentrated solution of chemically unmodified lignin, which may serve as a valuable source of a polyaromatic material as a value-added product. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2009;102: 1368–1376. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Ancillary