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New Ionic Liquids with Diverse Properties

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing SummaryHundreds of new ionic liquids can be synthesized using a method invented by ORNL researchers. This innovation makes it possible to produce ionic liquids and ionic compounds with a variety of tunable chemical properties, and provides ion liquids that are nonvolatile and nonpolluting. These liquids are important in many scientific research and energy applications, including chemical catalysis and in the design of new ultracapacitors. DescriptionIn this invention, cations of ionic liquids are formed through the reactions of a neutral ligand with metal ions, followed by the reaction of the resulting salts with an anion donor. Crown ethers are used as the neutral ligand. The organic salt of many of these compounds is a strongly hydrophobic, room temperature ionic liquid with low volatility. The reactions require no solvent, heat, or catalyst. The specific method includes mixing a neutral ligand from the group of organic alkyl amines and crown ethers, with a metal ion, and the salt of a metal cation and its conjugate anion at room temperature. Benefits
  • Diverse ionic liquids can be produced
  • Tunable chemical properties
  • Water stable and immiscible with water
  • Performance can be significantly higher than that of current technology
Applications and Industries
  • Solvents for separation of gas mixtures
  • Solvent extractions
  • Catalysis
  • Electrolytes for electrochemical applications, heat transfer, and energy storage
  • Ultracapacitor design
More InformationInventors:
Sheng Dai and Huimin Luo
Chemical Sciences Division
Nuclear Science and Technology Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 7,423,164
Synthesis of ionic liquids
Ionic compounds which are liquids at room temperature are formed by the method of mixing a neutral organic liqand with the salt of a metal cation and its conjugate anion. The liquids are hydrophobic, conductive and stable and have uses as solvents and in electrochemical devices.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory 09/09/2008
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
UT-B IDs 200301332, 200701993DevelopmentAvailable10/20/201012/15/2010

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To: Jennifer Tonzello Caldwell<>