(748c) Pretreatment of Biomass and Coal with Ionic Liquids for Advanced Fuel and Chemical Production 

Williams, C. L., Idaho National Laboratory
Li, C., Idaho National Laboratory
Delezene-Briggs, K. M., Idaho National Laboratory
Title: Pretreatment of Biomass and Coal with Ionic Liquids for Advanced Fuel and Chemical Production

Authors: C. Luke Williams1, Chenlin Li2, Jared C. Allen1, and Karen Delezene-Briggs3,
(1) Biofuels and Renewable Energy Technology, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID
(2) Chemical and Radiation Measurement, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID
(3) Biological and Chemical Processing, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID

The United States currently faces major energy security challenges due to increasing energy demand. To reduce imports of foreign energy and fuels the development of domestic energy and materials sources, from a variety of carbon-based feedstocks, will be required. However, to efficiently transform nationally available resources, like biomass and coal, to energy and fuels will require both advanced processing techniques and catalytic upgrading. Ionic liquids are a class of solvent capable of altering the structure of many carbonaceous materials at low temperatures and atmospheric pressures. Due to the relatively mild conditions required ionic liquid pretreatment can be integrated with many advanced fuel/chemical processing techniques. In this work multiple types of biomass and several grades of coal are treated with ionic liquids. After treatment, the physical and chemical alterations in the materials are investigated using: scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, compositional analysis, enzymatic hydrolysis, and thermogravimetric analysis. It can be seen that ionic liquid pretreatment has a drastic effect on the catalytic activity of enzymatic hydrolysis for the production of biomass derived sugars, as well as altering the combustion properties of coal. Overall, ionic liquid pretreatment has the potential to improve the catalytic production of energy and materials from both biomass and fossil feedstocks by altering material structures.