An Integrated Process of Ionic Liquid Pretreatment and Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Lignocellulosic Biomass with Immobilised Cellulase

Mihaela Ungurean, Zsófia Csanádi, László Gubicza, Francisc Péter

Abstract


An integrated process of lignocellulosic biomass conversion was set up involving pretreatment by an ionic liquid (IL) and hydrolysis of cellulose using cellulase immobilised by the sol-gel method, with recovery and reuse of both the IL and biocatalyst. As all investigated ILs, regardless of the nature of the anion and the cation, led to the loss of at least 50% of the hydrolytic activity of cellulase, the preferred solution involved reprecipitation of cellulose and lignin after the pretreatment, instead of performing the enzymatic hydrolysis in the same reaction system. The cellulose recovered after pretreatment with 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([Emim][Ac]) and dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) (1:1 ratio, v/v) was hydrolysed with almost double yield after 8 h of reaction time with the immobilised cellulase, compared to the reference microcrystalline cellulose. The dissolution capacity of the pretreatment mixture was maintained at satisfactory level during five reuse cycles. The immobilised cellulase was recycled in nine reaction cycles, preserving about 30% of the initial activity.

Keywords


Pretreatment; Ionic liquid; Poplar biomass; Cellulose hydrolysis; Immobilised cellulase

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