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Biodegradable ionic liquids of low toxicity

A group of considerably less toxic and much easier biodegradable by comparison with the existing ones ionic liquids is foreseen to elaborate and put on production by scientists of the university of latvia, the tallinn university of technology (estonia) and the company bapeks, ltd (latvia).

Ionic liquids (ILs) are salts with melting point below 100 oC. They are used in different areas (electrical, mechanical engineering, a.o.), including organic synthesis. Their structure can be modified to make them more appropriate for the particular application, in contrast to common organic solvents which structures are not alterable in any way. ILs cause the acceleration of many chemical processes, the increase of the reaction selectivity, as well as facilitates the separation of products from reaction media. Accordingly, the use of ILs provides economical and ecological benefits. The employment of ILs in the world is limited by three their substantial drawbacks: 1) currently available or described in the literature ILs are not sufficiently harmless to the environment; 2) for the present, ILs are comparatively costly materials; 3) only some ILs may be reused as solvents repeatedly, without their purification. Objective of the project – origination of a group of biodegradable ILs of low toxicity. Main tasks of the project: 1) to elaborate methods of manufacturing and analysis of biodegradable ILs of low toxicity that are applicable in their industrial production; 2) to characterize far and wide these ILs by physical, chemical and biological methods of analysis; 3) to demonstrate the possibility of multiple utilization of these ILs both as solvents and as catalysts. It is foreseen to originate, characterize far and wide, and assess 2-hydroxyethyl ammonium formates, acetates, and lactates, to compare them with other ILs produced by different chemical companies in the world. These new ILs will be synthesized by reactions of 2-hydroxyethyl amines with organic acids. Cations of the mentioned ILs are similar to the natural substance choline but anions form acids that take part in life processes of people and animals. As analogs of nature compounds, they are expected to have low toxicity and high biodegradability. NMR and IR spectroscopy, chromatography, mass spectrometry, capillary electrophoresis a.o. methods will be applied for the qualitative analysis of the new ILs. For the quantitative analysis, HPLC, ion chromatography a.o. methods will be applied. The toxicity and the biodegradation capacity of new ILs will be tested by methods described in the corresponding European Standards. The advantages of the constructed ILs are foreseen to demonstrate in the example of the condensation reaction between benzaldehyde and ethyl cyanoacetate, the ILs serving both as the media and the catalysts of the reaction. They are planned for a repeated exploitation for several times without any purification. The performance of the project may be divided into four stages: 1) optimization of synthesis and quality indices of 3 new ILs, their characterization; 2) analysis of ILs (including toxicity and biodegradation capacity), synthesis of 6 other ILs; 3) adjustment of synthesis conditions to the possibilities and needs of an industrial production, the accomplishment of organic syntheses in ILs’ media repeatedly and without any other catalyst; 4) specification of the technological parameters of the synthesis of ILs in industrial reactors, the consummation of a high quality for new ILs prepared in conditions of industrial preparation. The EUREKA project is attractive for the participants of the UL and TUT as a receipt for enlarging their sphere of interests and guaranty of usefulness, for the company BAPEKS, Ltd; it expands the nomenclature of the production and increases the profit. The company BAPEKS, Ltd participates in the project with a private contribution (18 600 EUR) that comes from the company’s resources foreseen for the development of the production. By joining the knowledge, experience, available equipment of the specialists of the University of Latvia (UL) and Tallin University of Technology (TUT), it becomes possible to prepare ILs of improved quality and to characterize these ILs broader and deeper than do foreign companies. The three partners have agreed to share fully the available them information concerning production, characterization and use of ILs. Therefore, the broadened transfer of knowledge, skills and available facilities for the elaboration of new ILs will take part in the project.
Acronym: 
BioIonLiquids
Project ID: 
7 175
Start date: 
01-11-2011
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
120 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Organic Chemistry
Market Area: 
Speciality/performance chemicals

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