High Yielding Acid-Catalysed Hydrolysis of Cellulosic Polysaccharides and Native Biomass into Low Molecular Weight Sugars in Mixed Ionic Liquid Systems

Publication Type:
Journal Article
ChemistryOpen, 2019, 8 (10), pp. 1316 - 1324
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© 2019 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. Ionic media comprising 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride and the acidic deep eutectic solvent choline chloride/oxalic acid as co-solvent-catalyst, very efficiently convert various cellulosic substrates, including native cellulosic biomass, into water-soluble carbohydrates. The optimum reaction systems yield a narrow range of low molecular weight carbohydrates directly from cellulose, lignocellulose, or algal saccharides, in high yields and selectivities up to 98 %. Cellulose possesses significant potential as a renewable platform from which to generate large volumes of green replacements to many petrochemical products. Within this goal, the production of low molecular weight saccharides from cellulosic substances is the key to success. Native cellulose and lignocellulosic feedstocks are less accessible for such transformations and depolymerisation of polysaccharides remains a primary challenge to be overcome. In this study, we identify the catalytic activity associated with selected deep eutectic solvents that favours the hydrolysis of polysaccharides and develop reaction conditions to improve the outcomes of desirable low molecular weight sugars. We successfully apply the chemistry to raw bulk, non-pretreated cellulosic substances.
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