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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 27, 2013

Molecular weight distributions of acetylated lignocellulosic biomasses recovered from an ionic liquid system

Chen Qu, Takao Kishimoto, Masahiro Hamada and Noriyuki Nakajima
From the journal Holzforschung


Recently, a method was presented for the dissolution and nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of cell wall components in lignocellulosic biomass, which involves cell wall ball-milling, dissolution in ionic liquids (ILs), in situ acetylation, and the recovery of acetylated materials. However, the dissolution in ILs and the relatively long ball-milling times may partially degrade the plant cell wall components. In the present study, the molecular weight (MW) distributions of acetylated biomasses from fir (Abies sachalinensis), birch (Betula platyphylla), and bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) recovered from IL systems were examined by size exclusion chromatography. The effects of IL types, cosolvents, dissolution temperatures and times, and ball-milling times were evaluated. The MW of acetylated fir woods recovered from 1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride at 30–80°C or from 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride at 100°C for 2 h were similar to those materials that were recovered from the N-methylimidazole/dimethyl sulfoxide system. In contrast, a significant decrease in MW was observed with 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([Emim]OAc) even at 30°C. The degradation of cell wall components in [Emim]OAc was reduced to some extent in the presence of N,N-dimethylacetamide or pyridine. The MW decreased gradually with increased ball-milling time.

Corresponding author: Takao Kishimoto, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Biotechnology, Toyama Prefectural University, Imizu 939-0398, Japan, e-mail:


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Received: 2012-11-1
Accepted: 2013-1-21
Published Online: 2013-02-27
Published in Print: 2013-10-01

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