Major

Chemistry

Department

Chemistry

Degree

Undergraduate

Abstract

Biomass has become increasing important in recent years. Through pretreatment and saccharification processes sugars produced by algae result in biofuel production. For these processes to occur, cellulose must be separated from hemicellulose and lignin components. Major obstacles in development of these processes is lignin, an organic polymer that contributes to plant cell wall stability. Ionic liquids are low-temperature molten salts that possess chemical and physical properties which aide in dissolution of whole biomass. This study focuses on the interactions of quiescent switchgrass (Panicum vigatum) with nine different ionic liquids. These interactions were tested using microscopic techniques as well as Mass Spectrometry coupled with a DART ion source. The capacity for dissolution in various ionic liquids were quantified. Results from these studies show the effectiveness and parameters for separation of biomass components. Effective separation will lead to a better biofuel yield as well as potential for commercial scale lignin production.

Presentation format

Poster

Expected Graduation Date

2014

Professor Email

darrin.smith@eku.edu

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Effects of Dissolution of Biomass in Ionic Liquids Using Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) Mass Spectrometry

Biomass has become increasing important in recent years. Through pretreatment and saccharification processes sugars produced by algae result in biofuel production. For these processes to occur, cellulose must be separated from hemicellulose and lignin components. Major obstacles in development of these processes is lignin, an organic polymer that contributes to plant cell wall stability. Ionic liquids are low-temperature molten salts that possess chemical and physical properties which aide in dissolution of whole biomass. This study focuses on the interactions of quiescent switchgrass (Panicum vigatum) with nine different ionic liquids. These interactions were tested using microscopic techniques as well as Mass Spectrometry coupled with a DART ion source. The capacity for dissolution in various ionic liquids were quantified. Results from these studies show the effectiveness and parameters for separation of biomass components. Effective separation will lead to a better biofuel yield as well as potential for commercial scale lignin production.