Sweet Ionic Liquids for Sustainable Functional Materials
1Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland
To mitigate the problem of carbon neutrality, there has been a great deal of interest in the replacement of fossil fuel-derived chemicals with bioderived alternatives. This direction did not go unnoticed in the field of ionic liquids, wherein biomass-derived systems have been investigated for two decades.
Among promising building blocks for the development of bio-ILs are abundant, inexpensive, and renewable sugars. Sugar moieties have been shown to reduce toxicity when incorporated into common imidazolium IL structures, and facilitate the biodegradability of the ILs. On the other hand they significantly increase the viscosity, thus hindering many applications. Despite a significant progress in the development of sugar-derived ILs in the last decade, the strongest emphasis has been focused on understanding the structure–property relationships regarding their ability to form a liquid phase (significant for applications as electrolytes, solvents, catalysts etc.). Therefore, the knowledge on the molecular interactions, as well as thermal properties of sugar-based organic salts is still very limited.
In my talk, I will try to answer the question “what can offer combining the properties of carbohydrates with the properties of ILs” and highlight possible applications, wherein the hydrogen-bond-rich structure of sugar-based ionic liquids is beneficial. I will present our recent studies on the development of tailor-made sugar-based ionic liquids and organic salts for applications as catalysts, precursors of doped carbon materials, surfactants, and phase change materials. The presented studies will provide insights into the molecular interactions of sugar-based organic salts in the solid state, which could pave the way towards novel applications spanning e.g. thermal energy storage.
Finally, I will highlight a recent progress in the synthesis of carbohydrate-derived ILs. Although sugars are an economically favourable starting material, the process of manufacturing their ionic derivatives often require multiple-step synthetic protocols. Recent research efforts that aim at improving and simplifying the synthesis of carbohydrate-derived ILs by reducing the number of synthetic steps and/or integrating green chemistry approaches will be presented.
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