BrØnsted acidic ionic liquid catalyzed one-pot conversion of cellulose to furanic biocrude and identification of the products using LC-MS

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The degradation of cellulose was studied using 1-(3-propylsulfonic)-3-methylimidazolium chloride and 1-(4-butylsulfonic)-3-methylimidazolium chloride acidic ionic liquids as catalysts in acetone at 120 °C for 3.5 h. The products were analyzed using LC-MS with a C18 column and 0.1% formic acid in water - methanol as the eluent solvent. Eleven cellulose degradation products were identified in the furanic biocrude formed using mass spectroscopy. The identified compounds include: 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), seven products formed from aldol condensation of HMF with one to three acetone molecules, one furfural-acetone aldol product and two HMF ether products. The percent conversions of cellulose to the furanic biocrude product for the two catalysts 1-(3-proylsulfonic)-3-methylimidazolium chloride and 1-(4-butylsulfonic)-3-methylimidazolium chloride were 25.7 and 19.3% respectively.

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