World Journal of Chemical Education
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World Journal of Chemical Education. 2017, 5(5), 158-163
DOI: 10.12691/wjce-5-5-3
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Demonstrating Sustainable Biomass Utilization and Processing Using Ionic Liquids – An Introduction to Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratories

Daniel Rauber1, 2, Michael Conrad1, Johannes Huwer1, Harald Natter1, 2 and Rolf Hempelmann1, 2,

1Department of Physical Chemistry and Chemistry Didactics, Saarland University, Campus B2.2, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany

2Transfercentre Sustainable Electrochemistry, Saarland University and KIST Europe, Campus Dudweiler, Zeile 3, 66125 Saarbrücken

Pub. Date: October 08, 2017

Cite this paper:
Daniel Rauber, Michael Conrad, Johannes Huwer, Harald Natter and Rolf Hempelmann. Demonstrating Sustainable Biomass Utilization and Processing Using Ionic Liquids – An Introduction to Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratories. World Journal of Chemical Education. 2017; 5(5):158-163. doi: 10.12691/wjce-5-5-3


A more sustainable, greener chemistry aiming at the utilization of renewable resources is a main research focus to reduce human environmental impact. Unfortunately, there is a lack of powerful, environmentally benign solvents for the two most abundant renewable biopolymers, cellulose and lignin. Ionic liquids are here introduced to undergraduate chemistry laboratories as recyclable, tunable solvents for the dissolution and processing of biomass in the form of wood and its components to create alternative processes that are safer as well as waste- and additive-free. These experiments emphasize the principles of green chemistry and demonstrate the scope and potential of ionic liquids for the production of novel, biodegradable materials from renewable resources.

ionic liquids biomass polymer chemistry hands-on learning green chemistry material science solvents

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