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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 428; doi:10.3390/ijms19020428

Protic Ionic Liquids for Lignin Extraction—A Lignin Characterization Study

Ionic Liquids & Electrolytes for Energy Technologies (ILEET) Laboratory, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 27 November 2017 / Published: 31 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Lignin Challenge: Exploring Innovative Applications)
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Abstract

Protic ionic liquids (PILs) have been established as effective solvents for the selective extraction and recovery of lignin from lignocellulosic biomass. In this study, we utilize extensive analytical techniques to characterize the PIL-extracted lignins to (1) expand on the physical/chemical structure, and to (2) develop a better understanding of the mechanism behind the lignin dissolution process. The PIL-lignins were characterized using elemental and FT-IR analyses, alongside molecular weight distribution and chemical modeling via MM2. For the more ionic pyrrolidinium acetate ([Pyrr][Ac]), there is an increase in the fragmentation of lignin, resulting in lignin with a smaller average molecular weight and a more uniform dispersity. This lends better understanding to previous findings indicating that higher ionicity in a PIL leads to increased lignin extraction. View Full-Text
Keywords: lignin; lignocellulose; biomass; bioproducts; biopolymer; lignin functionality; aromatic structure; protic ionic liquids lignin; lignocellulose; biomass; bioproducts; biopolymer; lignin functionality; aromatic structure; protic ionic liquids
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Achinivu, E.C. Protic Ionic Liquids for Lignin Extraction—A Lignin Characterization Study. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 428.

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