Ionic liquids: Implementing objectives of sustainability for the next generation chemical processes and industrial applications

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Abstract

The unique properties of ionic liquids (ILs) make them an excellent design tool for the next generations of chemical processes. This review covers important impact categories that allow comparison of two scaled-up processes based on ILs: the recently commercialized liquid alkylation technologies and the production of man-made cellulose fibers, which is currently on the brink of commercialization. These technologies are reviewed with emphasis on the environmental, economic, and social criteria for sustainability. While the first case is an example of ILs that do not just improve conventional processes but also allow the development of disruptive, transformative technologies, the second case raises questions related to IL instability, current recycling difficulties associated with quality of the recycled solvent, synthetic strategy for the “superbase” ILs, the degradation of ILs in ecosystems, and the IL cost on a multi-ton scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100625
JournalCurrent Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry
Volume35
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

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