Ionic liquid based pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass for enhanced bioconversion

Zeba Usmani, Minaxi Sharma, Pratishtha Gupta, Yevgen Karpichev, Nicholas Gathergood, Rajeev Bhat, Vijai Kumar Gupta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

244 Citations (Scopus)


Lignocellulosic biomass is the most plentiful renewable biomolecule and an alternative bioresource for the production of biofuels and biochemicals in biorefineries. But biomass recalcitrance is a bottleneck in their usage, thus necessitating their pretreatment for hydrolysis. Most pretreatment technologies, result in toxic by-products or have lower yield. Ionic liquids (ILs) have successfully advanced as ‘greener and recyclable’ alternatives to volatile organic solvents for lignocellulosic biomass dissolution. This review covers recent developments made in usage of IL-based techniques with focus on biomass breakdown mechanism, process parameter design, impact of cation and anion groups, and the advantageous impact of ILs on the subsequent processing of the fractionated biomass. Progress and barriers for large-scale commercial usage of ILs in emerging biorefineries were critically evaluated using the principles of economies of scale and green chemistry in an environmentally sustainable way.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123003
JournalBioresource Technology
Early online date11 Feb 2020
Publication statusPrint publication - May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Biorefinery
  • Enzymatic hydrolysis
  • Ionic liquids
  • Lignocellulosic biomass
  • Pretreatment


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