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Ionic liquids 2020 - The time is now 
proionic looks back at an exciting year. The meanwhile endless list of ionic liquid applications and the steadily increasing number of different kinds of ionic liquids have clearly attracted the attention of the industry. The time is now! Ionic liquids are moving past the development stage into commercial applications: 
  • as greener solvents in chemical processes & biomass processing
  • as yield-enhancing auxiliaries and catalysts in chemical synthesis
  • as part of analytical equipment
  • as electrolytes or electrolyte additives for batteries and supercaps
  • as lubricants & coolants
  • as polymer additives
  • to facilitate recycling of rare-earth metals or even plastic
2 key growth drivers of ionic liquids have been clearly identified - the need for sustainable and greener chemistry solutions, especially in the field of biomass processing, and the higher global energy demand, which has raised the need for safer and more effective electrolytes.
Growing market demands for green and sustainable chemistry solutions
proionic has always considered all aspects of sustainable chemical processes including ecological and economic factors as an indicator of market viability. proionic's unique and exclusive IL production technology known as CBILS® is one of the most advanced commercialized processes for a "green industrial production of high-purity ionic liquids" based on an entirely halid-free and virtually waste-free production route. CBILS® chemistry overcomes most drawbacks associated with conventional ionic liquid synthesis and minimizes the use of noxious chemicals.
Roland Kalb, CSTO & Founder:
"The pressing global challenges require  development and innovation of truly sustainable technologies. Ionic liquids are game changing technology enablers, offering “out of the box” solutions; their time is about to come right now. proionic meets this global demand based on its CBILS® production route, being the most ecological IL production technology for next-generation ionic liquids, and offering matching and affordable IL recycling / re-use process know-how."
Coordinating ionic liquid solvents for a greener dissolution and processing of biomass
Ionic liquids are greener alternatives to volatile, environmentally undesirable organic solvents. They allow an uncomplicated and safe handling compared to conventional solvents and dissolve a wide range of biopolymers. Ionic liquid solvents exhibit excellent chemical & thermal stability & non-flammability and can easily be recycled and reused allowing selective to complete dissolution of biological macromolecules under mild conditions. Furthermore, chemical modifications of macromolecules can easily be conducted in suitable IL solution. The ability of ILs to directly dissolve biological macromolecules, such as cellulose, lignin, hemicellulose, chitin, silk fibroin, wool keratin, etc., has generated intense worldwide academic and industrial interest in a relatively short period of time. 
Due to this growing demand, proionic has broadened its solvent portfolio with ionic liquids exhibiting varied dissolution power and selectivity to biopolymers. As announced in our latest newsletter, these liquids are available as a kit (proionic biomass dissolution kit). Meeting the demand for more environmentally friendly solvents, proionic added second-generation biobased ILs to its solvent portfolio such as Cholinium-L-lysinat or Cholinium acetate, standing out due their high-biodegradability, low toxicity and high enzyme stabilization potential. 

Beside biomass dissolution, the focus of many activities was directed on the production and finishing of textile fibers, the recycling of textiles and the valorization of biomass waste streams. proionic is targeting this worldwide trend by developing various ionic and bionic liquid based processes for the abovementioned applications. 
Markus Damm, Head of R&D:
"In line with this topic, we will showcase at the 2nd International Conference on Cellulose Fibres, online, 2-3 February 2021. 
Join our presentation on "Cellulose Recovery from Various Feedstocks Utilising Bionic Liquids" demonstrating the efficiency of ionic liquids to dissolve various types of biomass feedstocks. Several classes of ILs will be presented, in addition, the use of co-solvents to increase processability. Crucial to obtain an economically feasible process at the end of the day is process optimization and recycling of the ionic liquid solvent system, which will be a main part of the presented work."
Key to success - Reducing costs through recycling and economies of scale
Long-standing experience in the production of ionic liquids and development of corresponding chemical processes has led to a deep knowledge in chemical process engineering and process technology. In order to facilitate economically viable ionic liquid based (biomass dissolution) processes, proionic has recently broadened its service portfolio by providing the design, delivery and - where required - the operation of IL recycling units. 
BIOMASS DISSOLUTION IN A CLOSED PROCESS
Bernhard Ludwig, Head of Operations & Sales:
"The cost of certain ionic liquids and difficulties in recycling have limited the use of ionic liquids in many of the processes where they have shown potential. proionic addresses these limitations by integration of recycling units into the ionic liquid based process and by providing economies of scale." According to your specific needs, proionic offers high-purity ionic liquids from kg to ton-scale. REACH registration certificates for several ionic liquids guarantee the large-scale supply."
Trend towards safer & more environmentally friendly electrolytes with increased performance
 
IL based electrolytes offer unique characteristics including high conductivity, environmental compatibility and, especially, high thermal stability. In contrast to organic carbonate‐based electrolytes, which are highly volatile and flammable, IL‐based solutions are generally stable up to 300–400 °C. Furthermore, ILs are basically composed of organic ions allowing unlimited structural variation with the possibility to tune the properties of the ionic liquid to satisfy specific requirements (https://doi.org/10.1002/aenm.202000093).  Applications reported in the literature includes IL based electrolytes in batteries, supercapacitors, fuel cells and solar cells, as gas sensors and in electrodepositing metals.
"This year proionic has broadened its webshop & IL based electrolyte portfolio by BMPyrr FSI - a unique ionic liquid with unprecedented properties such as a widened electrochemical stability.  Additionally, proionic decided to provide the entire electrolyte portfolio in quantities of 250 g as part of its webshop programme and is thereby targeting a worldwide trend toward safer & more environmentally friendly electrolytes with increased performance. 
Dr. Michael Koncar, CEO:
 
"An increasing demand for high-purity ionic liquids especially in the electronic and automotive industry induced the upscaling and REACH registration of EMIM-TFSI (REACH registration number: 01-2120825886-41-0000 as well as EMIM-BF4 (REACH registration number: 01-2120086816-43-0000) which enables proionic to produce up to 10 t/a per substance. Both substances are available on a ton-scale basis in unique quality with water levels below 50ppm."
From your idea to a commercially viable product or process using ionic liquids
 
Ionic liquids are key technology enablers due to their unprecedented properties. Achieve real leaps of innovation by sharing your ideas with us!

Use proionic´s know how and long-time experience in ionic liquid based innovations & developments - together we will perform a techno-economic study to examine economical feasibility. Share your ideas with us and let us start discussions to transform them into reality. We are looking forward to your inquiry. 
ideas@proionic.com
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