Studying the mechanism of metal extraction with ionic liquids

The heaviest known elements are the so-called "superheavy" elements, those with atomic numbers greater than 103. These elements are found only in laboratories, where they are made by fusing together two lighter elements. ...

Let's face the liquid-liquid interface

The demand for energy consumption, limited availability of fossil fuels, and pollution caused by the energy production industry challenge scientists to find new, more cost-effective, and greener solutions to produce power. ...

New material shown to more efficiently desalinate water

By 2025, two-thirds of the world's population could experience a freshwater shortage. To tackle this issue, researchers from the University of Notre Dame have identified a new solvent—an ionic liquid—that improves on ...

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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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