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proionic news
  • Spotlight on "Ionic liquids as efficient solvents for the dissolution and processing of (bio)polymers"

  • proionic is selected as a “green frontrunner” by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)
  • We are celebrating 1000 followers on LinkedIN
Spotlight on "Ionic liquids as efficient solvents for the dissolution and processing of (bio)polymers"
“There’s no other solvent that is capable of dissolving biomass as gently as ionic liquids” [Dr. Roland Kalb, CSTO & Founder proionic, in C&EN 2020, 98(5), 24-27]
The efficient use of renewable resources and traditional organic wastes to gain bioenergy, biofuels, fibers, new materials, and others is one of the most challenging topics in the present decade. Ionic liquids offer the possibility to dissolve such biological macromolecules under rather mild conditions and will play an even more important role in the development of green processes as alternative solvents in the future. [1,2]

Key benefits of CBILS® ionic liquids as efficient solvents for gentle dissolution of (bio)polymers:
  • unusual solvent properties
  • selective or complete dissolution of a wide range of (bio)polymers under mild conditions
  • no vapor pressure, no boiling point
  • non-flammable, non-toxic
  • excellent chemical and thermal stability
  • safe and non-complicated handling compared to conventional solvents
  • recyclable and reusable
In general, ionic liquids attract hydrogen bonds in (bio)polymers, allowing a complete dissolution under mild conditions – keeping the molecule itself intact. [1-3] The ability of ionic liquids to interact with biological macromolecules is often described by the Kamlet-Taft (K-T) system, which is defined by three solvent parameters: the hydrogen bond acidity (α), the hydrogen bond basicity (β) and the polarizability (π*). The β value is the most important and quantifies an ionic liquid’s ability to accept a hydrogen bond, its magnitude is primarily determined by the anion. [4-6]. proionic has a lot of experience in the application of the Kamlet-Taft system and can assist its clients in choosing the right candidates for their specific task.

The first ionic liquids used in biomass dissolution were halide containing imidazolium-based compounds like EMIM-Cl or BMIM-Cl. Their dissolution capacity is comparable to state-of-the-art ionic liquids (e.g., EMIM-OAc), but they failed in their environmental impact and corrosion potential. Nowadays, coordinating ionic liquids, superbase ionic liquids or protic ionic liquids are prominent candidates for biomass dissolution. Research activities focus on the design and use of biobased ionic liquids containing natural sources (e.g., Chol-L-Lys, Chol-OAc). Such ionic liquids stand out due to their high biodegradability, low toxicity, and high enzyme stability and are available at proionic upon request. [2,7,8]

[1] Bioresource Technology 2020, 304, 123003. [2] Polymers 2020, 12, 195. [3] Wang et. al, “Dissolution of Biomass Using Ionic Liquids”, Structures and Interactions of Ionic Liquids. Structure and Bonding, vol 151. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. [4] J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1977, 99, 6027. [5] Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2011, 13, 16831. [6] Green Chem. 2012, 14, 1245. [7] ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2016, 4, 2917
[8] Green Chem. 2014, 16, 2546.

Special offer: biomass dissolution kit, € 550 for 6 x 100 g
proionic now offers again its biomass dissolution kit including six different ionic liquids (6 x 100 g) with varied dissolution power and selectivity to (bio)polymers (see table below).

  • Cholinium-L-lysinate (Chol-L-Lys, biobased, technical)
  • Cholinium acetate (Chol-OAc, biobased, technical)
  • 1-Ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate (EMIM-OAc, purum)
  • 1-Butyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate (BMIM-OAc, purum)
  • 1-Ethyl-3-methylimidazolium propionate (EMIM-OPr, purum)
  • 1-Ethyl-3-methylimidazolium octanoate (EMIM-OOc, purum)
If you are interested in this offer or bigger quantities (MOQ 1 kg) of individual candidates please contact:

Bernhard Ludwig
Executive Director Operations & Sales
T: +43 (664) 889 33940
proionic is selected as a “green frontrunner” by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)
proionic is proud to announce the acceptance of the FFG founded Green Frontrunner project “Ionic Circular Eco”. This project allows the development of an ionic liquid-based technology platform to make i) a decisive contribution to reduce greenhouse gases and to ii) improve the value of waste streams in a circular economy.

Within this project, proionic will focus on the synthesis of bio-based ionic liquids and natural deep eutectic mixtures and their use as solvents towards various types of natural raw materials including agricultural waste, woods, crops, shapes, and others. Different dissolution processes and cleaning steps will be developed and tested, allowing the isolation of various product types including precursors of biofuels, recycled fibers, essential oils, proteins for food supplements and other bio-platform chemicals. Further research activities will focus on the recycling of ionic liquids to obtain recycling rates higher than 99%. Overarching goal is the development of an economic feasible process, including a combination of biomass dissolution, product isolation and the recycling of the ionic liquid.

The Green Frontrunner program is addressed to internationally active companies, that hold a technological frontrunner position or are about to take this position. Research activities thereof need to address the development of a new product, process or service innovation focusing on completely new approaches regarding environmental and climate protection.

The “Ionic Circular Eco” project will be led by Dr. Martina Ortner, who holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Graz. She started her career at proionic, working in the field of quality assurance and is now focused on development projects in proionic’s focus segment (bio-)polymers.

Martina Ortner: “This project offers us the possibility to gain further insights in the dissolving power of ionic liquids, helping us to develop economic feasible processes. I’m grateful for proionic’s trust to be chosen to manage this important project directly after returning from my maternity leave.”
We are delighted to have reached 1,000+ followers on LinkedIn and we could not be more pleased. A big thanks to all our followers for contributing to the group by sharing, liking or commenting on posts. We love engaging with you all!

Take your last chance – share, like or comment our latest posts and you will automatically participate in the raffle, which will be held on Thursday, November 4 at 12.a.m. The 2 winners will receive an ionic liquid sample kit (biomass dissolution kit or a high-purity electrolyte kit) each kit worth €550. Once again, thank you all very much for helping us to reach such a great milestone!
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