(482d) Examination of Biomass Composition, Structure, and Enzymatic Digestibility As a Function of Ionic Liquid Pretreatment Temperature

Barr, C. J., University of Toledo
Click, K., Kent State University
Langan, P., Biosciences Division - Los Alamos National Laboratory
Schall, C., University of Toledo

Deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass into simple sugars constitutes a core barrier for producing value added products from the sugar platform.  Lignocellulosic biomass is primarily comprised of cellulose (a glucose polymer), hemicellulose (a xylose polymer), and lignin.  Enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass is one of the crucial steps in biochemical conversion to monomeric sugars.  The native cellulosic portion of biomass has a crystalline and oriented fibrillar structure in the cellulose I crystal form.  Cellulose I can be a major impediment for enzymatic hydrolysis.  Ionic Liquid (IL) pretreatment can disorder the crystalline cellulosic component to an amorphous material or result in structural changes in the cellulose fibers to other crystal forms, such as cellulose II.  In these studies, the effects of IL pretreatment temperature on various sources of lignocellulosic biomass were examined using X-ray powder and fiber diffraction, compositional analysis and comparative enzymatic hydrolysis.  Polysaccharide digestibility was related to the observed structural and compositional changes in biomass.  The improvement in hydrolysis is hypothesized to be primarily due to structural changes in the cellulose constituent.