Rhododendron and Japanese Knotweed: invasive species as innovative crops for second generation biofuels for the ionoSolv process

RSC Adv. 2021 May 21;11(30):18395-18403. doi: 10.1039/d1ra01943k. eCollection 2021 May 19.

ABSTRACT

We investigated the potential of two terrestrial biomass invasive species in the United-Kingdom as lignocellulosic biofuel feedstocks: Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) and Rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum). We demonstrate that a pretreatment technique using a low-cost protic ionic liquid, the ionoSolv process, can be used for such types of plant species considered as waste, to allow their integration into a biorefinery. N,N,N-Dimethylbutylammonium hydrogen sulfate ([DMBA][HSO4]) was able to fractionate the biomass into a cellulose-rich pulp and a lignin stream at high temperatures (150-170 °C) and short reaction times (15-60 minutes). More than 70-80% of the subsequent cellulose was hydrolysed into fermentable sugars, which were fermented into the renewable energy vector bioethanol.

PMID:35480936 | PMC:PMC9033429 | DOI:10.1039/d1ra01943k

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