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Ionic Liquids / Alfa Chemistry
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Specialty Synthesis Based Ionic Liquids


Ionic liquids are polyatomic organic salts composed of asymmetric cations and various anions, generally composed of organic cations and inorganic anions. With the deepening of the research and application of ionic liquids, the designability of ionic liquids has brought new opportunities for the application and development of various fields. By having functional groups with special functions on the anions and cations of conventional ionic liquids, functional ionic liquids with certain properties and application designs can be formed. The method of synthesizing ionic liquid generally adopts the conventional one-step method and two-step method. But sometimes the traditional synthesis method takes a long time and requires a large amount of organic solvent to reflux, and some also need nitrogen protection, which not only pollutes the environment but also increases the preparation cost. Therefore, some special synthesis methods, such as the external field enhancement method (divided into microwave and ultrasonic synthesis methods), can greatly increase the reaction rate. Ionic liquids based on special synthesis methods are generally imidazole ionic liquids. Imidazole ionic liquids are the most commonly used ionic liquids in the industry and have been widely used in catalytic synthesis and separation and extraction of natural products.

Specialty Synthesis Based Ionic LiquidsFigure 1. General structural formula of imidazole ionic liquid based on special synthesis


  • Catalyst: With the introduction of green chemistry, more and more synthetic route design processes have begun to choose low-toxic and non-polluting raw materials and green catalysts, so the advantages of ionic liquids can be applied. As a catalyst, imidazole-based ionic liquids are widely used in catalysis. It can be used to catalyze esterification reaction, Friedel-Crafts alkylation, acylation reaction, Diels-Alder reaction.
  • Extract natural products: Compared with traditional organic solvents, ionic liquids have the advantages of low melting point, low vapor pressure, low volatilization, high thermal stability, good electrical and thermal conductivity, high solubility, and molecular design. It has significant advantages in the extraction and separation process. The imidazole ionic liquids achieve extraction through intermolecular forces such as hydrogen bonding, electrostatic interaction, and dispersion with the groups of the extract. And it has good solubility for cellulose. Imidazole ionic liquids are used as solvents, using two-phase extraction or liquid-liquid extraction with ultrasonic, microwave and other technologies, which can significantly promote the extraction and separation of natural products.


  • Mohammad Javaherian and Seyyed Jafar Saghanezhad. Synthesis, Characterization and Applications of Dicationic Ionic Liquids in Organic Synthesis[J]. Mini-Reviews in Organic Chemistry. 2020, 4, 17, 450-464.

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