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Open AccessReview

A Review on the Partial and Complete Dissolution and Fractionation of Wood and Lignocelluloses Using Imidazolium Ionic Liquids

by Hatem Abushammala 1,* and Jia Mao 2
1
Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research (WKI), Bienroder Weg 54E, 38108 Braunschweig, Germany
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Al-Ghurair University, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai P.O. Box 37374, UAE
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010195
Received: 5 December 2019 / Revised: 20 December 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2020 / Published: 11 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-Based Polymers for Engineered Green Materials)
Ionic liquids have shown great potential in the last two decades as solvents, catalysts, reaction media, additives, lubricants, and in many applications such as electrochemical systems, hydrometallurgy, chromatography, CO2 capture, etc. As solvents, the unlimited combinations of cations and anions have given ionic liquids a remarkably wide range of solvation power covering a variety of organic and inorganic materials. Ionic liquids are also considered “green” solvents due to their negligible vapor pressure, which means no emission of volatile organic compounds. Due to these interesting properties, ionic liquids have been explored as promising solvents for the dissolution and fractionation of wood and cellulose for biofuel production, pulping, extraction of nanocellulose, and for processing all-wood and all-cellulose composites. This review describes, at first, the potential of ionic liquids and the impact of the cation/anion combination on their physiochemical properties and on their solvation power and selectivity to wood polymers. It also elaborates on how the dissolution conditions influence these parameters. It then discusses the different approaches, which are followed for the homogeneous and heterogeneous dissolution and fractionation of wood and cellulose using ionic liquids and categorize them based on the target application. It finally highlights the challenges of using ionic liquids for wood and cellulose dissolution and processing, including side reactions, viscosity, recyclability, and price. View Full-Text
Keywords: cellulose; wood; lignocellulose; ionic liquid; imidazolium; fractionation; dissolution cellulose; wood; lignocellulose; ionic liquid; imidazolium; fractionation; dissolution
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Abushammala, H.; Mao, J. A Review on the Partial and Complete Dissolution and Fractionation of Wood and Lignocelluloses Using Imidazolium Ionic Liquids. Polymers 2020, 12, 195.

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