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Scale-Up of Biomass Conversion Using 1-Ethyl-3-Methylimidazolium Acetate as the Solvent
Published: August 14, 2018
Posted: August 02, 2021


Demonstrate feasibility of ionic liquid (IL) pretreatment, bridge of gap between lab and bench studies to pilot-scale implementation.


  • At ABPDU, scale up 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C2C1Im][OAc]) pretreatment to a 40-kg batch in a 210-liter customized pressure reactor followed by enzymatic saccharification at a 50-L stirred tank.


  • [C2C1Im][OAc] pretreatment of switchgrass has been successfully scaled up to 40 kg.
  • Enzymatic hydrolysis of the pretreated switchgrass resulted in efficient sugar conversions—96% glucan and 98% xylan conversion.
  • Mass flow of the overall process was established, and the major scale-up challenges were identified and discussed.
  • Identified needs to improve transitional processes such as material transfer, biomass recovery from aqueous IL stream, IL recycling, and improvement of enzyme’s tolerance to ILs.

Liang, L. et al. “Scale-up of biomass conversion using 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate as the solvent.” Green Energy & Environment 4(4), 432–438 (2018). [DOI:10.1016/j.gee.2018.07.002]

Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Genomic Analysis and Systems Biology
  • Research Area: Plant Systems and Feedstocks, Plant-Microbe Interactions
  • Research Area: Sustainable Biofuels and Bioproducts
  • Research Area: DOE Bioenergy Research Centers (BRC)

Division: SC-33.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER


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