Green Chemistry Considerations in the Design of Ionic Liquids
Richard E. Engler, Green Chemistry Program, US Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (7406M), Washington, DC 20460 and J. Vincent Nabholz, Office of Pollution Prevention & Toxics, U. S. EPA, Risk Assessment Division, Mail Code 7403, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W, Washington, DC 20460.
Ionic liquids (ILs) are a still-growing field that may provide greener alternatives to traditional solvent systems. ILs are often touted as low volatility alternatives to traditional volatile organic solvents. However, low volatility is not sufficient to classify an IL as “green”. A wide variety of cations and anions can be combined to form ILs, allowing a wide range of properties and activity. The potential toxicity of anions and cations should be considered during the design of ILs. Human health and ecologic toxicology considerations of cations and anions will be discussed.