Ionic liquids act as very effective solvents and yet have environmentally advantageous properties because of their vanishingly small vapour pressure. The large numbers of ionic liquids available and their high costs make the measurement of kinetics for candidate reactions difficult and expensive. Working with QUILL, we are looking at ways of measuring chemical kinetics using microchannel devices. The work involves chemistry and studies of mixing and fluid flow.
Although ionic materials are usually thought of as having high melting points, there exists a class of compounds which are liquid at (or near) room temperature. These liquids have been laboratory curiosities since the 19th century, but recently have attracted a lot of attention for their unique properties, such as low vapour pressure, which have implications for "green chemistry".
In this department, there are two strands of ionic liquid research: