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Title: Enhanced Mixed Feedstock Processing Using Ionic Liquids

Biomass pretreatment using certain ionic liquids (ILs) is very efficient, generally producing a substrate that is amenable to saccharification with fermentable sugar yields approaching theoretical limits. Although promising, several challenges must be addressed before IL pretreatment technology becomes commercially viable. Once of the most significant challenges is the affordable and scalable recovery and recycle or the IL itself. Pervaporation is a highly selective and scalable membrane separation process for quantitatively recovering volatile solutes or solvents directly from non-volatile solvents that could prove more versatile for IL dehydration than traditional solvent extraction processes, as well as efficient and energetically more advantageous than standard evaporative techniques. In this study we evaluated a commercially available pervaporation system for IL dehydration and recycling as part of an integrated IL pretreatment process using 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C2C1Im][OAc]) that has been proven to be very effective as a biomass pretreatment solvent. We demonstrate that >99.9 wt% [C2C1Im][OAc] can be recovered from aqueous solution and recycled at least five times. A preliminary techno-economic analysis validated the promising role of pervaporation in improving overall biorefinery process economics, especially in the case where other IL recovery technologies might lead to significant losses. These findings establish the foundation for further developmentmore » of pervaporation as an effective method of recovering and recycling ILs using a commercially viable process technology.« less
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
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Technical Report
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States