3 years ago

Microwave-assisted ionic liquid-mediated rapid catalytic conversion of non-edible lignocellulosic Sunn hemp fibres to biofuels

Sunn hemp fibre – a cellulose-rich crystalline non-food energy crop, containing 75.6% cellulose, 10.05% hemicellulose, 10.32% lignin, with high crystallinity (80.17%) and degree of polymerization (650) – is identified as a new non-food substrate for lignocellulosic biofuel production. Microwave irradiation is employed to rapidly rupture the cellulose’s glycosidic bonds and enhance glucose yield to 78.7% at 160 °C in only 46 min. The reactants – long-chain cellulose, ionic liquid, transition metal catalyst, and water – form a polar supramolecular complex that rotates under the microwave’s alternating polarity and rapidly dissipates the electromagnetic energy through molecular collisions, thus accelerating glycosidic bond breakage. In 46 min, 1 kg of Sunn hemp fibres containing 756 g of cellulose produces 595 g of glucose at 160 °C, and 203 g of hydroxymethyl furfural (furanic biofuel precursor) at 180 °C. Yeast mediated glucose fermentation produces 75.6% bioethanol yield at 30 °C, and the ionic liquid is recycled for cost-effectiveness.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0960852418300105

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