In this work, it is demonstrated that acid catalyzed conversion of loblolly pine wood in 1-butyl-3-methyl-imidadzolium chloride occurs at much lower temperatures than in aqueous phase. At 120 °C the entire carbohydrate fraction of wood is converted into water soluble products within 2 h, while the lignin fraction remains as an insoluble residue. The water soluble products include polysaccharides, monosaccharides, furfural and HMF. The influence of the reaction temperature, water concentration and acid concentration are investigated. Under more severe conditions (higher temperature, higher acid concentration), solid degradation products, so-called humins, are formed by re-polymerization of the dissolved monomers.
Further insight in the reaction network involved in these transformations was obtained by studying the acid catalyzed conversion of model compounds in 1-butyl-3-methyl-imidadzolium chloride was studied.