Biomass Processing using Ionic Liquids for Jet Fuel Production
Final rept. 1 Dec 2007-31 Dec 2013
NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIV AT RALEIGH DEPT OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
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This project addressed a critical need of the U.S. Air Force, namely the production of jet fuel from the renewable domestic resource lignocellulosic biomass. Biomass consists predominantly of three biopolymers lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose. For fuel production, it is necessary to separate the cellulose from the other components and convert the cellulose to glucose. This can then be catalytically converted to liquid hydrocarbons. The lignin and cellulose, however, have very low solubility in conventional solvents making processing difficult. Typically a pretreatment step is used to break up the lignin and make the cellulose accessible to further hydrolysis to glucose. Pretreatment, however, is one of the most expensive steps in biomass processing. A new pretreatment method which efficiently separates the biopolymers is needed one which is inexpensive and does not hinder subsequent processing steps. This research project explored the use of ionic liquids ILs salts which are liquid at low temperatures often below ambient as solvents for the pretreatment of biomass materials. Such materials are highly soluble in a number of ILs. Little is currently known, however, about such mixtures.
- Organic Chemistry
- Solvents, Cleaners and Abrasives