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Ionic Liquid(IL)
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Ionic Liquid(IL) HOME > RESEARCH > Ionic Liquid(IL)
Ionic liquids (ILs) are organic salts that melt below 100℃.
Unlike traditional solvents, ILs are comprised entirely of ions.
The interest in ILs stems from their potential as ‘green solvents’ because of their
non-volatile character and thermal stability, which makes them potentially attractive
alternatives for volatile organic solvents. Also we regard ILs as designer solvents
because their chemical and physical properties can be tuned by altering the anions
and cations. Therefore, ILs have been received increasing attention as potential
alternatives to traditional volatile organic solvents in various applicationsincluding
electrochemistry, chemical processes and separation processes.
Our lab is trying to do experiments regarding ILs application in bio-industry. And we are recently focusing on
computer based study to verify the mechanisms.
Enzyme-catalyzed bioconversion reaction in ILs was studied. ILs have proved to be a promising reaction media for
biocatalyst such as sugar ester, biodiesel, fatty acid ester, etc.. Moreover, the bio-catalyzed continuous production
and in-situ separation of fatty acid ester have been proved as efficient method in ILs
The use of ILs as extraction solvents for bioproducts from its aqueous mixture such as acetone-butanol-ethanol
(ABE) and penicillin from their fermentation broth have been investigated. From these experiments, the relationship
between the solvent properties of ILs and their extraction behavior as well as extraction efficiency was established.
The combination of ILs and microwave heating on the pretreatment of biomass was also studied. The combination
shows a potential alternative method for the pretreatment of cellulosic materials (Figure 1)
Figure 1. Reducing sugar released during hydrolysis of untreated and regenerated cotton cellulose from ILs. These values in
parentheses were glucose concentration at 24hrs determined by HPLC
To shed light on the mechanism of interaction between water and glucose under ionic liquid environment,
molecular simulation study were performed. We found that water molecules play an important role for enhancer of
glucose solvation in ILs which has poor solubility for sugar. (Figure 2)
Figure 2. The glucose molecules snapshots from the 10ns frame with blue lines representing H-binding in simulations with
(a)IL and (b)water-mediated IL (c) hydrogen profile for glucose-glucose interaction in the case of 15 glucose concentration
in IL and water-mediated IL (IL = [Emim][TfO])
Molecular simulation study is also being performed to explore enzyme conformation in various solvents like ionic
liquids, organic solvents, water. Through this work, we are going to verify which component affects enzyme
structural stability and effect of impurity like Cl- ions in none halide based ionic liquid.