Short time ionic liquids pretreatment on lignocellulosic biomass to enhance enzymatic saccharification
The potential of 1-buthyl-3-methylpyridinium chloride, [Bmpy][Cl], as a pretreatment solvent for lignocellulosic biomasses, Bagasse and Eucalyptus, was investigated. The yields of regenerated biomasses ranged between 35–96%, and varied according to the pretreatment time, type of ionic liquid (IL) and biomass. The pretreatment of the biomass with [Bmpy][Cl] resulted in up to 8-fold increase in the cellulose conversion when compared with the untreated biomass. For a short pretreatment period (i.e., 10 min), [Bmpy][Cl] showed better performance than 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([Emim][OAc]) with respect to the initial enzymatic saccharification rates. The increase in the reaction rates with [Emim][OAc] treatment was because of a reduction in the cellulose crystallinity. In contrast, a decrease in the crystallinity index was not clearly observed for the biomass pretreated with [Bmpy][Cl], and the enhancement of the enzymatic saccharification rates using this IL is presumably due to a reduction in the degree of polymerization of cellulose in the biomass.