High-throughput screening for ionic liquids dissolving (ligno-)cellulose

Bioresour Technol. 2009 May;100(9):2580-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2008.11.052. Epub 2009 Jan 20.


The recalcitrance of lignocellulosic biomass poses a major challenge for its sustainable and cost-effective utilization. Therefore, an efficient pretreatment is decisive for processes based on lignocellulose. A green and energy-efficient pretreatment could be the dissolution of lignocellulose in ionic liquids. Several ionic liquids were identified earlier which are capable to dissolve (ligno-)cellulose. However, due to their multitude and high costs, a high-throughput screening on small scale is essential for the determination of the most efficient ionic liquid. In this contribution two high-throughput systems are presented based on extinction or scattered light measurements. Quasi-continuous dissolution profiles allow a direct comparison of up to 96 ionic liquids per experiment in terms of their dissolution kinetics. The screening results indicate that among the ionic liquids tested EMIM Ac is the most efficient for dissolving cellulose. Moreover, it was observed that AMIM Cl is the most effective ionic liquid for dissolving wood chips.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomass
  • Chemical Precipitation
  • Ionic Liquids / chemistry*
  • Kinetics
  • Lignin / chemistry*
  • Particle Size
  • Solvents / chemistry
  • Temperature
  • Wood / chemistry


  • Ionic Liquids
  • Solvents
  • lignocellulose
  • Lignin