Application L1603 Cover Chem. Eng. J.

In quest for the optimal delignification of lignocellulosic biomass using hydrated, SO2 switched DBU MEASIL switchable ionic liquid

Ikenna Anugwoma, Luis Rujana, Johan Wärnå, Mattias Hedenström, and Jyri-Pekka Mikkola

Chem. Eng. J., 2016, 297, pp. 256-264.

“In this paper, various process parameters aiming at optimal short-time-high-temperature (STHT) process were studied upon fractionation of Nordic woody biomass into its primary constituents. Highly diluted, aqueous ‘SO2-switched’ switchable ionic liquid (SIL) based on an alkanol amine (monoethanol amine, MEA) and an organic superbase (1,8-diazabicyclo-[5.4.0]-undec-7-ene, DBU) was applied. The ultimate goal was to develop a more sustainable, environmentally friendly and cost efficient systems for efficient separation of the lignocellulosic fractions. One of the main products from the SIL fractionation is cellulose-rich pulp with very low lignin content, complemented with hemicelluloses. The NMR results reveal that substantial removal of lignin occurs even when relatively low amount of SIL was used. Further, a simple mathematical model describing the dissolution of the lignocellulose components (hemicellulose and lignin) and weight loss of wood as a function of time is described. Moreover, the most efficient process involved the use of SpinChem® rotating bed reactor while upon use of a flow through (loop) reactor, promising results were obtained at a treatment time of 4 h. Still, all the reactor systems studied gave rise to a rather low removal of hemicelluloses which mean that the solvent system is primary selective towards lignin dissolution.”



  • “The fractionation was carried out and the performance of three different reactor types; a non-stirred batch reactor, a loop reactor and a SpinChem rotating bed reactor with stirring (spinning basket which takes advantage of forced centrifugal liquid flow) were compared.”
  • “The best results were obtained using the batch reactor with the SpinChem rotating bed reactor, followed by the loop reactor. This was expected since in these two reactors the external mass transfer restrictions are reduced due to forced liquid flow.”

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