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Ionic Liquids in Bioseparation Processes

  • Diana C. V. Belchior
  • Iola F. Duarte
  • Mara G. Freire
Part of the Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology book series


Bioseparation processes are a relevant part of modern biotechnology, particularly regarding the development of efficient and biocompatible methods for the separation and purification of added-value biologically active compounds. In this field, ionic liquids (ILs) have been proposed, either in liquid–liquid extractions, in which non-water miscible ILs or aqueous biphasic systems (ABS) formed by ILs can be used, or in solid–liquid extractions, in which they are covalently attached to create supported IL phases (SILPs). Aprotic ILs possess unique properties, such as non-volatility and designability, which are valuable in their use in bioseparation processes. In this chapter, we summarize and discuss bioseparation processes based on ILs, including both liquid–liquid and solid–liquid extractions, applied to amino acids and proteins. The most recent and remarkable advances in this area are emphasized, and improvements brought by the use of ILs properly discussed. New insights and envisaged directions with IL-based bioseparation processes are suggested.

Graphical Abstract


Amino acids Ionic liquid Liquid–liquid extraction Proteins Solid–liquid extraction 



This work was developed in the scope of projects CICECO – Aveiro Institute of Materials (Ref. FCT UID/CTM/50011/2013) and MultiBiorefinery (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016403), financed by national funds through Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT, Portugal)/MEC and co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership agreement. The authors acknowledge financial support from the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation HORIZON 2020, under the TEAMING Grant agreement No 739572 – The Discoveries CTR. D.C.V. Belchior acknowledges financial support from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico – CNPq for the PhD grant [202337/2015-4]). I.F. Duarte acknowledges the FCT/MCTES for a research contract under the Program ‘Investigador FCT’. M.G. Freire acknowledges the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) /ERC grant agreement n° 337753.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature  2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana C. V. Belchior
    • 1
  • Iola F. Duarte
    • 1
  • Mara G. Freire
    • 1
  1. 1.CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, Chemistry DepartmentUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal

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