Breaking the Barriers of Lignocellulosic Ethanol Production using Ionic Liquid Technology

Shengdong Zhu, Pei Yu, Qijun Wang, Bo Cheng, Jie Chen, Yuanxin Wu


Although the use of ionic liquids (ILs) has provided a potentially effective technical tool to improve the lignocellulosic ethanol production process, the technology still is facing great challenges with respect to its efficiency and economic viability. This editorial gives a systematical analysis of the potential and limitations of lignocellulosic ethanol production using IL technology. The use of ILs establishes a new platform for fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass. The IL pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass can greatly increase its saccharification rate and the fermentable sugar yield. Use of ILs can also intensify the ethanol fermentation process and improve ethanol separation efficiency from its fermentation broth. However, many technical difficulties still exist in reducing the process costs and alleviating the environmental and ecological effects. More research and financial support are needed to overcome these difficulties.


Breaking barriers; Ionic liquids; Lignocellulosic ethanol production

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126