Development of Ionic Liquid Utilization in Biorefinery Process of Lignocellulosic Biomass
Ionic liquids have been utilized in various industries as the environment-friendly organic solvents. The tailor-made properties of ionic liquids to meet the requirements of specific tasks lead to the variety of applications in biorefinery.
Ionic liquid applications have been developed and integrated in biorefinery of lignocellulosic biomass processing since last decade. Conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to sugars requires both efficient pretreatment and hydrolysis enzymes to produce biofuels and specialty chemicals, and ionic liquids were applied to improve the hydrolysis yields. Ionic liquid pretreatment is one of potential method due to its high efficiency to solubilize cellulose, and its recyclability. The high extractibility of ionic liquid as a solvent was described in many studies and became the new target for R&D sectors. However, the adverse effects of ionic liquids have been discovered bringing out controversy to be discussed. The present review is aimed to provide the insight of applications of ionic liquid and current improvement direction in biorefinery.
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