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UT Institute of Agriculture
Center for Renewable Carbon

Biomass Fractionation

Using lignocellulosic biomass as a feedstock to produce renewable fuels, chemicals and products implies dealing with heterogeneous materials that have evolved complex protective mechanisms to prevent physical, chemical and microbial degradation of the structural polysaccharides in their cell walls. More efficient organisms and systems that can rapidly breakdown the various polysaccharides present in biomass such as woody and herbaceous biomass are needed to make the cellulosic industry a reality.

Ionic liquids show great promise as a host to biomass fractionation and utilization of each component in the production of fuels and value-added products.

Benefits to Ionic Liquids (ILs):
  • Ability to solubilize biomass
  • Low volatility
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Non-flammable
  • "Designer solvent" for green chemistry

To fully exploit the benefits of ILs it is critical, BeST is developing compatible IL-enzymes systems in which the IL is able to effectively solubilize and activate the lignocellulosic biomass, and the cellulolytic enzymes possess high stability and activity.

Ionic liquid-enzymes system to effectively fractionate biomass

For more information, please contact Dr. Nicole Labbé