Gases purification
Hg2+ and Cd2+ removal from waste water
Photolytic degradation of organic compounds



The recent interest surrounding ILs in regards to Green Chemistry has largely been a result of the fact that they have no measurable vapor pressure, and hence can emit no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).1,4,12 But replacing volatile organic  solvents is just part of the story: indeed, ionic liquids are very popular materials and they enjoy a plethora of applications in various domains of physical sciences.

1Some applications in brief...

  • Homogeneous and heterogeneous catalyst
    For some applications, ionic liquids offer the advantage of both homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts. This is because selected ionic liquids can be immiscible with the reactants and products but dissolve the catalysts.
    "This has the advantages of a solid for immobilizing the catalyst, with the advantages of a liquid for allowing the catalyst to move freely"
    Robert Morland, first major U.S. meeting on ionic liquids, held at the American Chemical Society meeting in San Diego.
    The French Petroleum Institute, in Paris, have commercially licensed an ionic liquids-based process that uses these properties for preparing polybutene dimers used in plastics, automobile tires, and related materials.
  • Biological reactions media
    "Enzymes are also stable in ionic liquids, opening the possibility for ionic liquids to be used in biological reactions, such as the synthesis of pharmaceuticals"
    James Davis,first major U.S. meeting on ionic liquids
    In 2000, chemical ingeneers from the University of Pittsburgh, in Pensylvania, used enzymes in an ionic liquid to synthetize Z-aspartame, a precursor of the artificial sweetener.
    Rhodococcus R312, a whole-cell biocatalyst, also works in ionic liquids.
  • Scientists involved with ionic liquids also belive that they will be used for completely new applications, for example:

  • Treatment of high-level nuclear waste
    "Ionizing radiation does not affect ionic liquids, so they could even be used to treat high-level nuclear waste"
    Ken Seddon,first major U.S. meeting on ionic liquids
  • Removing of metal ions
    In another application, Davis and Rogers have designed and synthetized several new ionic liquids to remove cadmium and mercury from contaminated water. When these water-insoluble ionic liquids come in contact with contaminated water, they snatch the metal ions out of waterand sequester them in the ionic liquid.
  • Purification of gases
    "Ionic liquids can selectively dissolve and remove gases and could be used for air purification on submarines and spaceships"
    Davis, first major U.S. meeting on ionic liquids

However, before ionic liquids can be used routinely, problems must be addressed.

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