(88c) Biomass-Derived Ionic Liquids Based On N-Substituted Pyrrolidinones | AIChE

(88c) Biomass-Derived Ionic Liquids Based On N-Substituted Pyrrolidinones


Hutchenson, K. W. - Presenter, DuPont Central Research and Development
Shiflett, M. B. - Presenter, DuPont Company

Ionic liquids based on N-substituted pyrrolidinones are a new class of materials that can be partially derived from biomass feedstocks. Specific examples include pyrrolidinones having a pendant ammonium cation that is separated from the pyrrolidinone ring by a variable length alkyl spacer. Various anions can be combined with a variety of pyrrolidinone cations to tailor the resulting properties. Potential uses for this new class of ionic liquids include process solvents, catalysts, and selective absorption media for various gases.

With the recent commercialization of the Biofine process1, the pyrrolidinone intermediates can be prepared from levulinic acid or levulinic acid derivatives obtained from the hydrolysis of inexpensive and renewable biomass feedstocks. Levulinic acid has been identified as one of the primary ?building block chemicals? that can be produced from sugars via biological or chemical conversions in a recent U.S. DOE study2. However, of the twelve biomass-derived feedstocks identified in this study, levulinic acid is one of the few that are actually available at commercial scale with competitive pricing.

This presentation will describe the synthesis of N-substituted pyrrolidinone intermediates and various ionic liquids derived therefrom, pertinent physical properties for this new class of ionic liquids, and some initial results from testing these materials in potential applications.


1. Fitzpatrick, Stephen W., ?The Biofine Technology: A ?Bio-Refinery? Concept Based on Thermochemical Conversion of Cellulosic Biomass,? in Feedstocks for the Future: Renewables for the Production of Chemicals and Materials, J.J. Bozell and M.K. Patel, Eds., ACS Symposium Series No. 921, American Chemical Society,: Washington, D.C., (2006), PP. 271-287.

2. Werpy, T., and G. Petersen, ?Top Value Added Chemicals from Biomass: Vol. I?Results of Screening for Potential Candidates from Sugars and Synthesis Gas,? U.S. Dept. of Energy (2004).