Imperial College London

Dr Florence Gschwend

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Chemical Engineering

Honorary Research Fellow



f.gschwend12 Website




329Bone BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Gschwend, F and Chambon, C and Biedka, M and Brandt-Talbot, A and Fennell, P and Hallett, J},
doi = {10.1039/C8GC02155D},
journal = {Green Chemistry},
pages = {692--703},
title = {Quantitative glucose release from softwood after pretreatment with low-cost ionic liquids},
url = {},
volume = {21},
year = {2019}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Softwood is an abundantly available feedstock for the bio-based industry, however, achieving cost-effective sugar release is particularly challenging owing to its guaiacyl-only lignin. Here, we report the highly effective pretreatment of the softwood pine (Pinus sylvestris) using ionoSolv pretreatment, a novel ionic liquid-based lignocellulose fractionation technology. Three protic, low-cost ionic liquids, 1-butylimidazolium hydrogen sulfate, triethylammonium hydrogen sulfate and N,N-dimethylbutylammonium hydrogen sulfate, were used to fractionate the biomass into a carbohydrate-rich pulp and a lignin. The carbohydrate-rich pulp was hydrolysed into fermentable sugars by enzymatic saccharification. Under the most successful pretreatment conditions, quantitative glucose release from the pulp was achieved, which equates to a projected glucose release of 464 mg per gram of pine wood entering the process. We further intensified the process by increasing the solid to solvent ratio up to 1:2 g/g while maintaining saccharification yields of 75% of the theoretical maximum. We also demonstrate for the first time that N,N-dimethylbutylammonium hydrogen sulfate, [DMBA][HSO4] is an excellent low-cost pretreatment solvent, surpassing the pretreatment effectiveness of its symmetrically substituted analogue triethylammonium hydrogen sulfate. This shows that ionoSolv pretreatment with protic hydrogen sulfate ionic liquids is a truly feedstock-independent pretreatment option, further increasing the commercial potential of this pretreatment technology.
AU - Gschwend,F
AU - Chambon,C
AU - Biedka,M
AU - Brandt-Talbot,A
AU - Fennell,P
AU - Hallett,J
DO - 10.1039/C8GC02155D
EP - 703
PY - 2019///
SN - 1463-9262
SP - 692
TI - Quantitative glucose release from softwood after pretreatment with low-cost ionic liquids
T2 - Green Chemistry
UR -
UR -
VL - 21
ER -