Greener Biomass Utilization

Greener Biomass Utilization

Author: Andrei Dragan

The conversion of biomass to valuable chemicals could improve the sustainability of their production. The depolymerization and conversion of biopolymers into useful materials using ionic liquids as reaction systems is a relatively new approach.

Arvind Kumar and Mohit J. Mehta, CSIR Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavnagar, India, have developed an efficient and economical integrated biomass processing strategy whch uses a mixed ionic-liquid system. The researchers have extracted Coumarin-rich essential oil from Cinnamomum cassia bark and separated lignin and cellulose using a combination of ethylammonium nitrate (EAN) and 1-butyl-3-menthyl imidazolium chloride ([C4mim]Cl) under mild conditions in a recyclable manner.

The team also used residual biopolymers for the preparation of UV-blocking films, blending the residual lignocellulosic material with chitosan. The resultant films exhibid excellent mechanical strength and are able to block 100 % of UV radiation, while allowing 15–20 % transmittance in the visible-light region.


 

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