Date of Award

Fall 2009

Project Type


Program or Major

Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Palligarnai T Vasudevan


In the production of cellulosic ethanol, the pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis steps are the most influential in determining final ethanol yield and both steps require lower costs to be economically viable. In this work, the use of an ionic liquid (IL), 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium diethyl phosphate (EMIM-DEP), as a pretreatment for cellulose as well as four types of immobilized T. Reesei cellulase are investigated. EMIM-DEP is a low viscosity ionic liquid capable of cellulose dissolution. The addition of 2% (v/v) EMIM-DEP during hydrolysis resulted in an initial reaction rate that was 2.7 times higher than hydrolysis rates using no ionic liquid. The carrier-free immobilized cellulase (CFIC) achieved an initial yield of 0.7 g glucose/g cellulose and was able to be effectively used five times. Other carrier bound immobilization techniques used included magnetic beads, Dilbeads(TM) and alumina beads, which resulted in a yield of 0.2, 0.12 and 0.02 g glucose/g cellulose, respectively.