Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ionic Liquids Conference, Bamberg, Germany, March 2010

One of the best conferences I ever attended, was the Ionic Liquids Conference in Bamberg, Germany in March 2010. There was much basic science presented with a heavy load of chemistry. About 360 participants were there including many young people, mostly chemists. From Monday to Friday all participants attended the lectures from morning to evening. Also the social program was excellent. There were no parallel sessions, all poster sessions were in the evening from 6 pm into the night, e.g. 10 pm. Many thanks to the organizers, mainly Prof Wasserscheid from Erlangen University, Germany. The quality of the talks was excellent, also from young people. A strong Rostock group was there with Prof Ludwig (oral presentation), Prof Verevkin (op), Mr Hoffmann, Dr Safarov (2 posters) and me.

Ionic liquids (IL) are new materials, or not so new, if one considers them molten salts. First IL or first known paper on IL is from St Petersburg, Russia, 1914. IL consist of long molecules, cations with plus charge and anions with minus charge, which can be designed individually. Estimation is there exist about 10^18 different IL, until now several hundreds have been investigated. There is a database about different applications of IL, there are listed about 3500 categories. Many properties of IL are just now be determined, e.g. viscosity, heat conduction, polarity, polarizability, vapor pressure (there should be none), solubility, miscibility, thermodynamic properties, ..., all kinds of spectra. Applications are e.g. pharmaceutical, engineering, thermo fluids, solvents for chemical processes, applications in catalysis, fuel cell electrolytes, liquids for new batteries, ... One of the speakers mentioned design of liquids and design of salts can be made with IL. Anything has to be understood on molecular level and sustained with proper experimental results.
Thats also called multi scale physics. IL is a huge (new) field which will be open for the next 100 years or so. Green chemistry: IL is not green chemistry, but it could help to make green chemistry feasible.

- end -