Ionic liquids „in a nutshell” (history, properties and development)

Juliusz PERNAK*, Tomasz RZEMIENIECKI, Katarzyna MATERNA – Institute of Technology and Chemical Engineering, Poznan University of Technology, Poznań, Poland
Please cite as: CHEMIK 2016, 70, 9, 471–480

One of the main directions of the global research is the search for new chemical compounds with special properties. Ionic liquids are such compounds. Their application brings new possibilities for modern chemical technology. The ionic liquids fit well in the assumptions of green chemistry [1]. In contrast to the previous approach, the green chemistry requires design, development and implementation of new processes and chemicals that allow the reduction or elimination of use and production of hazardous materials [1]. Twelve principles of green chemistry, formulated in 1998 by Anastas and Warner [2], describe the methods of implementation of these tasks. Ionic liquids meet at least three of these principles, i.e. principle no. 5 (safer solvents), no. 6 (provide energy efficiency) and no. 9 (are used in catalytic reactions).

Ionic liquid precursors are quaternary ammonium halides, known from the 1890s, which were widely used and tested in the 20th century. The history of synthesis and application of organic salts containing a quaternary nitrogen atom is presented in Table 1.

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