Jan 13 2012

Dr. Elizabeth Biddinger, Georgia Institute of Technology

January 13, 2012

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM


CEB 218


810 South Clinton Street, Chicago, IL 60612

Alternative Solvent Systems for Green and Sustainable Processes

Solvents are typically the largest component in a chemical synthesis and separation process. The energy usage and waste generation from the use of these solvents contributes significantly to the overall energy consumption and waste generation in a process. By developing and implementing alternative solvent systems, greener chemical processes can be established. Alternative solvents can be used to improve reaction and separation efficiencies, and reduce energy consumption and waste generation. There are multiple classes of alternative solvents including tunable solvents, switchable solvents and ionic liquids. Each class has its own advantages, which play a significant part in the selection of an alternative solvent system. Tunable solvents have properties than can be changed (“tuned”) in a continuous manner with the application of heat, pressure or another external stimulus. Conversely, switchable solvents have drastic step-changes in their properties (ionic strength, volatility, hydrophilicity, etc.) in response to some impetus such as the temperature, pressure, pH, absorption of light or introduction of a chemical “switch.” Traditional ionic liquids are organic salts that are liquids below 100°C. Traditional ionic liquids do not change properties with an external stimulus, though are touted for their non-volatility and ionic strength. Several examples of these alternative solvent systems will be presented including tunable solvents for combining homogeneous reactions with heterogeneous separations, and switchable solvents known as reversible ionic liquids. Examples of reversible ionic liquid use for CO2 capture and nanoparticle synthesis will be given.


UIC Chemical Engineering

Date posted

Jun 17, 2019

Date updated

Jun 17, 2019