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Recent initiatives in experimental thermodynamic studies on ionic liquids [IL] – the emergence of a standard thermochemical database for ILs

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One of the ultimate goals in the exciting on-going development and study of ionic liquids (ILs) must be the quest to establish “before synthesis” tools that could be used to predict and guide synthetic chemists towards ILs having “tuned” target properties. The tools needed in this exercise will come from many sources, not least from the acquisition of standard experimental thermodynamic data. The routine measurement of such data for new compounds had become very much a thing of the past in traditional chemistry. However with the surge of interest across the globe seen in these relatively new IL materials has come a recognition of the need to acquire experimental data and this review article seeks to assemble much of the emerging thermochemical data for ILs in one place. After all, there are very few data in current existing thermochemical databases that could offer much of a clue concerning the specific thermodynamic behaviour of ILs. We are charting new territory here. Development of any new large scale commercial process is preceded these days by a full study of its thermodynamic feasibility, usually at the pilot stage, and thus such data as are reported here are of the utmost value in this respect. It has a secondary role too in enabling predictions of missing data to become feasible and hence in predicting synthetic outcomes ahead of practical experiment.

This commentary tracks very recent trends and developments on the more quantitative and thermodynamic aspects of this exciting chemistry.
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