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Title: Homogenous hydrolysis of cellulose to glucose in an inorganic ionic liquid catalyzed by zeolites
Zeolites (ZSM-5 and Beta) with different SiO2/Al2O3 ratios were synthesized as solid acids for hydrolyzing cellulose in an inorganic ionic liquid system (lithium bromide trihydrate solution, LBTH) under mild conditions. The results indicated that the texture properties of zeolite had little effect on catalytic activity, while acidity of zeolite was crucial to the cellulose hydrolysis. In the LBTH system, H-form zeolites released H+ into the solution from their acid sites via ion-exchange with Li+, which hydrolyzed the cellulose already dissolved. This unique homogeneous hydrolysis mechanism was the primary reason for the excellent performance of the zeolites in catalyzing cellulose hydrolysis in the LBTH system. It was found cellulose could be completely hydrolyzed to glucose and oligoglucan by 2% (w/w on cellulose) zeolite at 140 °C within 3 h with a single-pass glucose yield 61%. The zeolites could be recovered with 50% initial catalytic activity after regeneration and reused with stable catalytic activity.
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