396059 Separation of Cellulosic Biomass from Ionic Liquids using Compressed CO2

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Galleria Exhibit Hall (Hilton Atlanta)
David L. Minnick and Aaron M. Scurto, Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

The rigid hydrogen bonding network between cellulose molecules renders it insoluble in most organic solvents.  However, select ionic liquids (ILs) including 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium diethyl phosphate [EMIm][DEP] are capable of dissolving significant quantities.  Through IL pretreatment cellulose crystallinity is reduced thus enhancing reactivity.  As pre-processed cellulose is non-volatile, anti-solvent techniques are most often used for the separation from ionic liquids.  We have recently discovered that compressed carbon dioxide presents a unique alternative to conventional organic/aqueous antisolvent methods.  Phase equilibrium, high pressure NMR, and solid state NMR results will demonstrate characteristics of the CO2 based physical (non-reactive) separation process and the amorphous cellulose product.

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