Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Engineering Science


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Clint Williford

Second Advisor

Paul Scovazzo

Third Advisor

Adam E. Smith

Relational Format



The focus of this project is to determine the effectiveness in the preprocessing of biomass when magnetic ionic liquids (MIL) (1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrachloroferrate (Bmim[FeCl4]) and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrachloroferrate (Emim[FeCl4])) are used as a green solvent. Lignocellulose is a promising starting material for a plethora of products, ranging from biofuels to custom chemicals; however, lignocellulose is resistant to enzymatic degradation. Various biomass-preprocessing techniques such as microbial, mechanical, and chemical pretreatment are used for enhancing the digestibility of biomass to sugars for ethanol production. Varieties of ionic liquids have demonstrated the ability to fragment lignocellulose. However, after fragmentation, separation of biomass and ionic liquids has proven to present economic challenges for this pretreatment process. Research has proven that the addition of magnetic properties to the ionic liquid can be used to stabilize the ionic liquids and prevent its loss or other detrimental fluid/fluid interactions in the bioreactor. Therefore, this paper presents the outcomes of such MIL dissolution studies.


Emphasis: Chemical Engineering



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