Understanding the Role of Choline Chloride in Deep Eutectic Solvents Used for Biomass Delignification

Dion Smink, Alberto Juan, Boelo Schuur, Sascha R.A. Kersten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


The role of choline chloride in biomass delignification by a deep eutectic solvent (DES) containing lactic acid was investigated. In this study, the influence of choline chloride on pulping of Eucalyptus globulus chips was determined. Pulping experiments were performed at 120 °C for 8 h with a DES to wood ratio of 20:1. Various experiments were performed to study the influence of choline chloride on lignin solubility, cleaving reactions, and mass transfer in order to gain an understanding of the observed pulping results. It was found that the chloride anion is the active component of choline chloride. In fact, the inexpensive salt NaCl performed as well as choline chloride in that respect. Furthermore, choline chloride is already effective in a 1:250 M ratio to lactic acid. Studies on milled wood lignin show that choline chloride increases the cleavage rate of β-O-4 and thereby increases the delignification rate of biomass. Furthermore, choline chloride slightly decreased the solubility of lignin in DESs and due to an increase in viscosity decreased the estimated mass transfer coefficient. Overall, the delignification rate of Eucalyptus by lactic acid increased by the addition of halide salts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16348-16357
Number of pages10
JournalIndustrial and engineering chemistry research
Issue number36
Early online date19 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2019


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