Article / Research Article

"Deconstructing Fast Growing Biomass: Grass, Agricultural Residues and Eucalyptus Bark"

Ikenna Anugwom1*,Mattias Hedenström1, Jyri-Pekka Mikkola1,2

1LUT RE-SOURCE Research Platform, School of Engineering Science, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, Finland

2Laboratory of Industrial Chemistry and Reaction Engineering, Johan Gadolin Process Chemistry Centre, Åbo Akademi University, Finland

*Corresponding author: Ikenna Anugwom, LUT RE-SOURCE Research Platform, School of Engineering Science, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, Finland. Email:,

Received Date: 09 May, 2018; Accepted Date: 05 June, 2018; Published Date: 12 June, 2018

1.       Abstract 

Lignocellulosic non-wood biomass was treated in highly diluted, aqueous Switchable Ionic Liquid (SIL) system derived from an alkanol amine (Monoethanol Amine, MEA), an organic superbase (1,8-diazabicyclo- [5.4.0]-undec-7-ene, DBU) and ‘switched’ by SO2. Herein the aim was to demonstrate the power of SIL treatment on non-wood biomass as a sustainable, environmentally friendly and cost-efficient approach. The primary fraction obtained upon hydrated SIL fractionation process contains hemicelluloses as well as cellulose-rich pulp with very low lignin content. Also, a simple model was used to describe the weight loss obtained for the treated wood. The chemical analysis results revealed that substantial removal of lignin occurred which is consistent with results of SIL treatment of wood. The endeavor was to assess the potential of this type of poorly explored biomass types as a source of potentially valuable raw materials. 

Scheme 1: The structure of the SIL, SO2 switched DBU MEASIL. Adapted from [1].

Figure 1: SEM images of the A) native Bamboo, B) Eucalyptus bark, C) Wheat straw. D, E, F depicts the corresponding SIL treated samples. (For all sample magnification:1KX, size 20µm).

Figure 2: FTIR spectra for A, native wheat straw and B SIL treated wheat straw.

Figure 3: FTIR spectra for native Eucalyptus bark (A) and SIL treated Eucalyptus bark (B).

Figure 4: FTIR spectra for, native Bamboo (A) and SIL treated Bamboo (B).

Figure 5: 13C CP/MAS spectra of untreated and SIL treated biomass samples. A-C Untreated Eucalyptus bark, Wheat straw and Bamboo, respectively. D-F Corresponding samples after SIL treatment.

Figure 6: FTIR of the recovered materials from spent SIL; Eucalyptus bark (A) Wheat Straw (B) and Bamboo (C). 


Bark (wt-%)

Bamboo (wt-%)

Wheat straw (wt-%)


SIL treated


SIL treated


SIL treated












































Table 1: Chemical compositions of the biomass before and after SIL treatment.



Weight loss biomass, %

Cellulose, g

Sugars, g*

Lignin, g

Sugar removal, %

Lignin removal, %

SIL treated bark Native bark

48 ± 3 N/A

13.9 ± 0.8 14.3 ±1.3

1.1 ± 0.4 3.0 ±1.2

0.1 ±0.7 7.2 ± 1.1

88  N/A

99 N/A

SIL treated bamboo Native bamboo

49 ± 1.9 N/A

11.3 ±0.6 13.4 ± 2

1.4 ±0.3 4.7 ±1.1

1.4 ±0.1 7.2 ±1

91 N/A

94 N/A

SIL treated wheat straw Native wheat straw

50 ± 1.5 N/A

10.0 ±0.9 12.2 ±1.6

1.6 ±0.7 5.4 ±1.5

2.0 ±0.3 9.0 ±1.2

91 N/A

94 N/A

*hemicelluloses are reported as sugars.

N/A: not analyzed

Table 2: Compositional analysis of the SIL treated biomass.



TCI (1377/2910   cm-1)

LOI (1423/898   cm-1)

Native Bamboo

0.47 ± 0.005

1.2 ± 0.003

SIL treated Bamboo

0.58 ± 0.003

0.53 ± 0.001

Native Eucalyptus Bark

1.6 ± 0.009

2.5 ± 0.002

SIL treated Eucalyptus Bark

0.7 ± 0.009

0.5± 0.001

Native Wheat straw

0.26 ± 0.009

1.12 ± 0.003

SIL treated Wheat straw

0.04 ± 0.01

0.69 ± 0.009


Table 3: IR crystallinity indexes data of the SIL treated and non-treated biomass.

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Citation: Anugwom I, Hedenström M, Mikkola JP (2018) Deconstructing Fast Growing Biomass: Grass, Agricultural Residues and Eucalyptus Bark. Curr Res Biopolymers: CRBP-109. DOI: 10.29011/CRBP-109. 000009