Inexpensive ionic liquids: [HSO4]−-based solvent production at bulk scale

Inexpensive ionic liquids: [HSO4]–based solvent production at bulk scale

Green Chem., 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4GC00016A, Paper
Long Chen, Mahdi Sharifzadeh, Niall Mac Dowell, Tom Welton, Nilay Shah, Jason P. Hallett
ILs manufactured from inexpensive raw materials in few steps are cheaper than some organic solvents and have a low environmental impact.
Green Chem., 2014, Advance Article

DOI: 10.1039/C4GC00016A

Through more than two decades’ intensive research, ionic liquids (ILs) have exhibited significant potential in various areas of research at laboratory scales. This suggests that ILs-based industrial process development will attract increasing attention in the future. However, there is one core issue that stands in the way of commercialisation: the high cost of most laboratory-synthesized ILs will limit application to small-scale, specialized processes. In this work, we evaluate the economic feasibility of two ILs synthesized via acid–base neutralization using two scenarios for each: conventional and intensification processing. Based upon our initial models, we determined the cost price of each IL and compared the energy requirements of each process option. The cost prices of triethylammonium hydrogen sulfate and 1-methylimidazolium hydrogen sulfate are estimated as $1.24 kg−1 and $2.96–5.88 kg−1, respectively. This compares favourably with organic solvents such as acetone or ethyl acetate, which sell for $1.30–$1.40 kg−1. Moreover, the raw materials contribute the overwhelming majority of this cost and the intensified process using a compact plate reactor is more economical due to lower energy requirements. These results indicate that ionic liquids are not necessarily expensive, and therefore large-scale IL-based processes can become a commercial reality.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s