Forestry industries in Chile are facing an important challenge—diversifying their products using green technologies. In this study, the potential use of Ionic Liquids (ILs) to dissolve and hydrolyze eucalyptus wood (mix of Eucalyptus nitens and Eucalyptus globulus) kraft pulp was studied. The Bleached Hardwood Kraft Pulp (BHKP) from a Chilean pulp mill was used together with five different ILs: 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [bmim][Cl], 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate [bmim][Ac], 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hydrogen sulfate [bmim][HSO4], 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [emim][Cl], 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate [emim][Ac]. Experimentally, one vacuum reactor was designed to study the dissolution/hydrolysis process for each ILs; particularly, the cellulose dissolution process using [bmim][Cl] was studied proposing one molecular dynamic model. Experimental characterization using Atomic Force Microscopy, conductometric titration, among other techniques suggest that all ILs are capable of cellulose dissolution at different levels; in some cases, the dissolution evolved to partial hydrolysis appearing cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) in the form of spherical aggregates with a diameter of 40–120 nm. Molecular dynamics simulations showed that the [bmim][Cl] anions tend to interact actively with cellulose sites and water molecules in the dissolution process. The results showed the potential of some ILs to dissolve/hydrolyze the cellulose from Chilean Eucalyptus, maintaining reactive forms.
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2019|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
- Cellulose dissolution, Green technology, Ionic liquid, Nanocellulose