1The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
The ability of ionic liquids (ILs) containing at least one amphiphilic ion to form nanostructures with well-defined polar and non-polar domains is becoming increasingly well understood. While there is growing evidence that the existence of these nanostructures can influence the outcomes of processes where ILs are used as solvents, including chemical and material synthesis, energy and electrochemical applications as well as separations and purifications, the role of these nanostructures on chemical reactivity remain relatively undefined. Furthermore, in many of these applications, the IL is diluted by reactants, catalysts or co-solvents and yet there have been surprisingly few investigations of the partitioning of solutes within these nanostructures and on the effect of this dilution on the existence of amphiphilic nanostructures.
This presentation will describe our investigations into understanding the role of amphiphilic nanostructures on reactivity, with a focus on aprotic imidazolium ILs. This will address the robustness of their amphiphilic nanostructures towards dilution, the partitioning of solutes within these nanostructures and the subsequent impact of these effects on the reactivity of alcohols, as models of biomass valorisation processes.