Dissolution, partial dissolution or softening of cellulose in an ionic liquid (IL) and its subsequent contact with anti-solvent produces regenerated cellulose more amorphous in structure than native cellulose, which can be separated from the IL/anti-solvent mixture by mechanical means such as simple filtration or centrifugation. This altered morphology of IL-treated cellulose allows a greater number of sites for enzyme adsorption with a subsequent enhancement of its saccharification. The IL-treated cellulose exhibits significantly improved hydrolysis kinetics with optically transparent solutions formed after about two hours of reaction. This provides an opportunity for separation of products from the catalyst (enzyme) easing enzyme recovery. With an appropriate selection of enzymes, initial hydrolysis rates for IL-treated cellulose were up to two orders of magnitude greater than those of untreated cellulose. Due to the non-volatility of the IL, anti-solvent can be easily stripped from the IL/anti-solvent mixture for recovery and recycle of both the ionic liquid and anti-solvent.

Document Type


Primary Class


Secondary Class

435/96; 435/99

Application Number


Filing Date

January 2010

Patent Number



The University of Toledo

Publication Date


Patent Country





The University of Toledo


University of Toledo Libraries

Digital Publisher

Digital Initiatives


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Rights Statement

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