New type of electrolyte could enhance supercapacitor performance

Supercapacitors, electrical devices that store and release energy, need a layer of electrolyte—an electrically conductive material that can be solid, liquid, or somewhere in between. Now, researchers at MIT and several ...

Supercapacitors turbocharged by laxatives

An international team of scientists, including a professor of chemistry from the University of Bristol, has worked out a way to improve energy storage devices called supercapacitors, by designing a new class of detergents ...

Scientists cook up new recipes for taking salt out of seawater

As populations boom and chronic droughts persist, coastal cities like Carlsbad in Southern California have increasingly turned to ocean desalination to supplement a dwindling fresh water supply. Now scientists at the Department ...

'Liquid forensics' could lead to safer drinking water

Ping! The popular 1990 film, The Hunt for Red October, helped introduce sonar technology on submarines to pop culture. Now, nearly 30 years later, a team of scientists at the University of Missouri is using this same sonar ...

Sliding along on water

Machine bearings are usually lubricated with various oils. But today large quantities of these oils still end up in the environment. The Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM has developed a method which will ...

Upcycling process brings new life to old jeans

A growing population, rising standards of living and quickly changing fashions send mountains of clothing waste to the world's landfills each year. Although processes for textile recycling exist, they tend to be inefficient ...

Cleaning up with cellulose

Selectively permeable membranes made from renewable plant-based materials could significantly improve the environmental credentials of the chemical industry. A KAUST team has tested the viability of cellulose membranes to ...

Developing environmentally friendly materials

A new research article introduces a nanofiber material produced by the electrospinning device at the Laboratory of Polymers and Textile Technology in Tallinn University of Technology, and a range of applications. The article, ...

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Ionic liquid

Ionic liquids, originally known as liquid electrolytes, ionic melts, ionic fluids, fused salts, liquid salts, or ionic glasses, are liquids comprised predominantly of ions and ion-pairs at some given temperature. Ordinary table salt, or, sodium chloride, consists of sodium cations (Na+) and chloride anions (Cl−) that when heated to several hundred degrees, forms a liquid containing predominantly ions. While many combinations of bulkier and often more asymmetric organic ions also form well defined crystals, with well defined melting points, many instead form glasses prior to thermodynamically stable crystal lattice formation where the cyrstallization kinetics are extremely slow. For example, the salt 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium dicyanamide, [C2mim][N(CN)2], melts at Tm = -21 °C, pyridinium chloride, [PyH]Cl, exhibits a melting point of Tm = 144.5 °C but 1-butyl-3,5-dimethylpyridinium bromide, [N-butyl-3,5-dimethyl-Py]Br, exhibits glass formation at Tg = -24 °C.

The term, ionic liquid, includes all classical molten salts, which are comprised of more thermally stable ions, such as sodium with chloride or potassium with nitrate, and has been attested as early as 1943. Recently, it has come to be used for salts whose melting point is below an arbitrary set point of 100 °C. There also exist mixtures of substances which have low melting points, called deep eutectic solvents, or DES, that have many similarities with ionic liquids.

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