Dissolution of Starch with Aqueous Ionic Liquid under Ambient Conditions

B Zhang, F Xie, Julia Shamshina, R D Rogers, T McNally, P J Halley, R W Truss, Z Chen, S Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With increased awareness of global sustainability, there has been growing interest in the preparation of materials from natural, eco-friendly polymers (i.e., biopolymers). Nonetheless, despite their enormous application potential, biopolymers (starch, etc.) have a native semicrystalline structure with strong hydrogen bonding, and require use of solvents to improve their processability. However, the dissolution/processing of natural biopolymers such as starch often requires heating and thus significant energy input. Herein, we report an aqueous ionic liquid for fast and facile dissolution of starch, a typical semicrystalline natural polymer, under ambient conditions. The ionic liquid used is 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C2mim][OAc]). In particular, it is revealed that 0.15:1 mol/mol [C2mim][OAc]:water mixture disintegrates the sophisticated granule structure of native starch without apparently decreasing the molecular mass within 1 h at room temperature (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3737–3741
JournalACS Sustainable Chem. Eng
StatePublished - 2017


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