Ionic Liquids and Relative Process Design

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Ionic liquids have gained increasing attention in recent years due to their significant advantages, not only as alternative solvents but also as new materials and catalysts. Until now, most research work on ionic liquids has been at the laboratory or pilot scale. In view of the multifarious applications of ionic liquids, more new knowledge is needed and more systematic work on ionic liquids should be carried out deeply and broadly in order to meet the future needs of process design. For example, knowledge of the physicochemical properties is indispensable for the design of new ionic liquids and for the development of novel processes. The synthesis and application of ionic liquids are fundamental parts of engineering science, and the toxicity and environmental assessment of ionic liquids is critical importance for their large scale applications, especially for process design. These research aspects are closely correlated to the industrial applications of ionic liquids and to sustainable processes. However, material process design in the industrial applications of ionic liquids has hardly been implemented. Therefore, this chapter reviews several essential issues that are closely related to process design, such as the synthesis, structure-property relationships, important applications, and toxicity of ionic liquids.