Improvement of ethanol production from birch and spruce pretreated with 1-H-3-methylmorpholinium chloride
Journal article, 2019

Background: Pretreatment is the critically important step for the production of ethanol from lignocelluloses. In this study, hardwood birch (Betula pendula) and softwood spruce (Norway spruce) woods were pretreated with a newly synthesized morpholinium ionic liquid, 1-H-3-methylmorpholinium chloride ([HMMorph][Cl]), followed by enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation to ethanol.

Results: [HMMorph][Cl] was synthesized using inexpensive raw materials, i.e., hydrochloric acid and N-methyl morpholine, following a simple process. The influence of pretreatment time (2, 3, 5, and 8 h) and temperature (120 and 140°C) in terms of hydrolysis efficiency was investigated. Glucose yields from enzymatic hydrolysis were improved from 13.7% to 45.7% and 12.9% to 51.8% after pretreatment of birch and spruce woods, respectively, under optimum pretreatment conditions (i.e., at 140°C for 3 h) as compared to those from pristine woods. Moreover, the yields of ethanol production from birch and spruce were increased to 34.8% and 44.2%, respectively, while the yields were negligible for untreated woods.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated the ability of [HMMorph][Cl] as an inexpensive agent to pretreat both softwood and hardwood.


Ionic liquid

Morpholinium ionic liquid










Marzieh Mohamadi

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Systems and Synthetic Biology

Isfahan University of Technology

Marzieh Shafiei

University of Isfahan

Keikhosro Karimi

Isfahan University of Technology

Amir Abdolmaleki

Shiraz University

Isfahan University of Technology

J. P. Mikkola

Umeå University

Åbo Akademi

Christer Larsson

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Systems and Synthetic Biology

Electronic Journal of Biotechnology

07173458 (eISSN)

Vol. 41 95-99

Subject Categories

Wood Science

Chemical Process Engineering

Other Industrial Biotechnology



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