Japanese researchers develop new solvent for biomass

December 4, 2017 |

In Japan, Kanazawa University researchers developed a novel carboxylate-type liquid zwitterion as a solvent of biomass, which could dissolve cellulose with very low toxicity to microorganisms. Use of this novel solvent enables significant reduction of energy cost for ethanol production from non-food biomass.

They succeeded in reducing the toxicity to microorganisms by developing a novel solvent, a carboxylate-type liquid zwitterion for dissolving biomass cellulose. The EC50, the concentration of a substance that reduces the growth of Escherichia coli to 50 percent, was found to be 158 g/L for the newly developed carboxylate-type liquid zwitterion, whereas the EC50 of ionic liquid, one of the conventional solvents of cellulose, was 9 g/L. This indicates that the novel carboxylate-type liquid zwitterion shows 17-fold lower toxicity than the ionic liquid.

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Category: Research

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