Determination of Lipophilic Extractives in Ionic Liquid Extracts of Eucalyptus Pulp by Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry

K F Kilulya, T AM Msagati, B B Mamba, J C Ngila, T Bush


Lipophilic wood extractives composition is currently a big concern of pulp and paper industries as well as for the environmentalists due to their negative impacts on the quality of pulp and the environment. Because of the shortcomings of different extraction procedures using volatile organic solvents in capturing residual lipophilic extractives in pulp, this study reports on the use of ionic liquids as an effective approach for such extraction. The capacity of two ionic liquids; 1- butyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate and 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride to recover wood extractives was compared and it was observed that ionic liquid with chloride anion recovered a higher amount of extractives. The effect of temperature of the added precipitating solvent during cellulose regeneration on the recovery of extractives was also studied. Recovery of extractives increased with increasing temperature of the added precipitating solvent and equilibrium was reached at 90oC. Fatty acids (saturated, unsaturated and α-hydroxyl acids), sterols (β-sitosterol and stigmastanol), steroid hydrocarbons and ketones were the main compounds determined from bleached pulp using gas chromatography mass spectrometry. On the basis of the fact that ionic liquids are biodegradable and non-volatile, this approach of analysis is definitely a highly green process for the determination of lipophilic extractives in pulp.

Key words: Dissolving pulp; Extractives; Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry; Green solvent; Ionic liquid

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