Ana Belén Pereiro
LAQV, FCT NOVA
Ionic liquids: from Basics to Applications
Chaired by Luís Paulo Rebelo
Ionic liquids (ILs) have become recognized as greener media for engineering issues due to their properties, such as almost null volatility, tuneability, null flammability and recyclability. Nowadays, these compounds are being applied at industrial level by different companies e.g. Petronas, BASF, BP, Degussa and Linde industrial gases. One of the most attractive characteristics of ILs is that their physicochemical properties can be fine-tuned through the careful selection of cations and anions leading to the desired properties for each application. An emerging research field of interest in the ILs area is the increment of their tuneability. In this sense, new scientific branches of the ILs field were explored.
Firstly, the significant increase of the coulombic character of ILs through the solubilisation of simple inorganic salts in their milieu was tackled. This simple and inexpensive way to increase the ionicity of an IL was achieved, while preserving the liquid nature of the new ionic media. A new class of ionic liquids, High Ionicity Ionic Liquids (HIILs), emerges because the media is purely ionic and liquid. These new HIILs represent a new promising class of neoteric, “green” engineering liquids for separating processes.
On the other hand, ILs are regarded as nano-segregated fluids, with a polar network permeated by non-polar domains. It is, thus, expected that fluorinated alkyl chains could also control the formation of fluorous nanodomains and may induce the formation of three nanosegregated domains, polar, non-polar and fluorous. Fluorinated Ionic Liquids (FILs) were developed and characterized, and the formation of these three nanosegregated domains was demonstrated. The obtained results clearly show that FILs can be used as “three in one” solvents, increasing the solubilisation power. Playing with the Van der Waals, coulombic and hydrogen bonding interactions and the size of the fluorous domain will allow the development of solvents designed for each specific application.