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The Role of Ionic Liquids in the Lignin Separation from Lignocellulosic Biomass

Institute of Technology, Chair of Biosystems Engineering, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 56, 51006 Tartu, Estonia
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Energies 2020, 13(18), 4864; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13184864
Received: 18 June 2020 / Revised: 19 August 2020 / Accepted: 27 August 2020 / Published: 17 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy Solutions for Baltic-Nordic Region 2020)
Lignin is a natural polymer, one that has an abundant and renewable resource in biomass. Due to a tendency towards the use of biochemicals, the efficient utilization of lignin has gained wide attention. The delignification of lignocellulosic biomass makes its fractions (cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin) susceptible to easier transformation to many different commodities like energy, chemicals, and materials that could be produced using the biorefinery concept. This review gives an overview of the field of lignin separation from lignocellulosic biomass and changes that occur in the biomass during this process, as well as taking a detailed look at the influence of parameters that lead the process of dissolution. According to recent studies, a number of ionic liquids (ILs) have shown a level of potential for industrial scale production in terms of the pretreatment of biomass. ILs are perspective green solvents for pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass. These properties in ILs enable one to disrupt the complex structure of lignocellulose. In addition, the physicochemical properties of aprotic and protic ionic liquids (PILs) are summarized, with those properties making them suitable solvents for lignocellulose pretreatment which, especially, target lignin. The aim of the paper is to focus on the separation of lignin from lignocellulosic biomass, by keeping all components susceptible for biorefinery processes. The discussion includes interaction mechanisms between lignocellulosic biomass subcomponents and ILs to increase the lignin yield. According to our research, certain PILs have potential for the cost reduction of LC biomass pretreatment on the feasible separation of lignin. View Full-Text
Keywords: lignin; lignocellulose; biochemicals; delignification; ionic liquids lignin; lignocellulose; biochemicals; delignification; ionic liquids
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Hasanov, I.; Raud, M.; Kikas, T. The Role of Ionic Liquids in the Lignin Separation from Lignocellulosic Biomass. Energies 2020, 13, 4864.

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