Green Industrial Applications
of Ionic Liquids

April 12-16, 2000

Candia Maris Hotel, Heraklion, Crete, Greece








Center for Green Manufacturing
The University of Alabama
Department of Chemistry
College of Arts & Sciences
Office for Sponsored Programs

Ionic Liquid Laboratory (QUILL)
Queen's University of Belfast
School of Chemistry

National Science Foundation
Engineering Directorate
Division of Chemical and Transport Systems
Interfacial, Transport, and Separations Processes Program

Ozark Fluorine Specialties

British Nuclear Fuels, PLC


Reilly Industries, Inc.


Room Temperature Ionic Liquids (RTIL) are emerging as novel replacements for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) traditionally used as industrial solvents, however, the lack of a coherent research agenda for the field with major industrial input to define the basic science and engineering needs for practical application may be artificially holding back utilization of these green solvents. This ARW will address these needs by providing a critical assessment of the field and developing a direction and strategy for basic and applied R&D that will lead to industrial implementation.

One of Society's biggest challenges as we enter the new millenium, is the elimination of industrial pollution. The Montreal Protocol identified the need to reevaluate chemical processes to take account of their environmental impact especially with regard to the use of VOC solvents. Yet, while the new paradigm in industrial ecology stresses the role of clean manufacturing processes in providing the basis for sustainable technologies, worldwide usage of VOCs in excess of 5 billion dollars indicates the large quantity consumed per annum, even with new international treaties which are severely limiting the amount which can be released in plant effluents. The abbreviation VOC has become synonymous with a plethora of social, economic, and ecological hazards, and such use seems increasingly anachronistic. It is thus incumbent upon the research community to explore the inherent benefits of alternative technologies to replace VOCs and reduce the associated health risks, volatility, environmental, and human health and safety concerns that accompany exposure to organic solvents.

The U.S. Chemical Industry has recognized this fact and has engaged in a visioning process (Vision 2020) intended to lead to a Technology Roadmap directing research and development toward sustainable technologies. A major component of industrial wastes is used solvent, and approaches to eliminate solvent vapors will have huge importance in cleaning up industrial production. Although alternative approaches such as heterogeneous catalysis and aqueous reaction media exist, they don't represent a generic solution to the problem. One of the most promising areas of research in new Green Technologies is the application of neoteric solvents, a category which includes supercritical CO2 and ionic liquids, with the latter, one of the least explored and most promising approaches. Ionic liquids offer a highly solvating, yet non-coordinating medium in which a number of organic and inorganic solutes may be dissolved. They are non-volatile, non-flammable, have high thermal stability, and are relatively undemanding and inexpensive to manufacture.

Recent reviews of the potential use of RTIL as industrial solvents, however, clearly demonstrate the lack of scientific and engineering data for these compounds and the need for a coherent research agenda with industrial input which could dramatically expand their potential usage and speed the introduction of these potentially 'green' solvents into sustainable industrial processes.

The goals of the proposed ARW thus, include the following:

* To provide a critical assessment of current knowledge in the field
* To compare where possible IL with work using sc-CO2 and aqueous media
* To identify the promise of IL for the future
* To identify methods to transfer these technologies to Partner Countries
* To develop a direction and strategy for tackling industrial problems in clean synthesis to 2020

To accomplish these goals, the workshop will bring together a team from wide professional experience including industrial, academic, and government research personnel. The participants will be drawn from several disciplines and interest including chemical engineering, medicinal chemistry, petrochemicals, electrochemistry, separations, synthesis, catalysis, and computational modeling. Their areas of expertise will include green chemistry and engineering, high temperature molten salts, room temperature ionic liquids, industrial technologies, pollution prevention/remediation, and environmental regulation.

The structure of the meeting will include a series of plenary talks followed by supportive keynote speakers with recorded question/answer sessions. There will be three panel discussions with participation by all attendees. These will focus on three key objectives:

* Identify key industrial needs for clean technologies
* Develop a research agenda to meet those needs
* Develop a strategy to transfer the skills in this exciting new area of research in the West, to partner countries which need the technologies in the East



Robin D. Rogers, ARW Co-Director
Center for Green Manufacturing
Box 870336
The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA

Sergei Volkov, ARW Co-Director
Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences
Palladin Avenue
V. Vernadsky Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry
32//34, Kiev 252680, Ukraine

Kenneth R. Seddon
School of Chemistry
The Queen's University of Belfast
Stranmillis Road, Belfast BT9 5AG
Northern Ireland

Elena A. Gontcharenko
Kabardino-Balkarian College
15 Baisultanov str., appt. 36
360017 Nalchik, Russia

Soghomon Boghosian
P.O. Box 1414
University Campus
GR-26500 Patras, Greece



NATO ARW on Ionic Liquids
Department of Chemistry
Box 870336
The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA

Ph: 205/348-4323
Fax: 205/348-9104

(The conference logo is copyrighted (2000) by Professor James H. Davis, Jr., Department of Chemistry, University of South Alabama. It is used as the symbol of Professor Davis' Ionic Liquid Laboratory at USA.)