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Synthesis of Ionic Liquids

Ionic Liquids for Chemical Separation Processes

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

Chemical separation, such as processes producing alkanes from olefins, often requires series of distillation steps that are highly energy intensive.



Scientists at ORNL have developed new synthesis routes to the preparation of hydrophobic ionic liquids having cationic coordination of metal complexes. These synthesis routes lead to diverse ionic liquids with tunable chemical properties. These novel ionic liquids are useful for high throughput separation, such as production of alkanes from olefins.

  • High throughput separations requiring significantly less energy than conventional separation techniques
  • Wide variety of ionic liquids based on inorganic cations complexed with neutral organic liqands
  • Tunable ionic liquids for specific chemical properties
  • Creates exothermic reactions ?? requiring no solvent, heat or catalyst
  • Readily soluble in organic solvents and immiscible in water
Applications and Industries

The ionic liquids are compatible with extraction processes and reaction schemes common to organic chemistry. They are water stable and immiscible with water, and are useful co?solvents in the separation of metal salts from contaminated aqueous systems, especially systems contaminated with soluble radioactive compounds.

More Information

Synthesis of Ionic Liquids, (UTB – ID 1332) US Patent 7,423,164

Lead Inventor
Dr. Sheng Dai

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

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To: Jennifer Tonzelo Caldwell, Ph.D.<>