Righi and co-workers here present the life cycle assessment (LCA) of cellulose dissolution with ionic liquids 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (Bmim Cl). The authors compared the “greenness” of the process with the well established environmental friendly N-methyl-morpholine-N-oxide (NMMO)/H2O process. Results from the LCA suggest that both processes are comparable.
Specifically, the process with Bmim Cl generates a higher environmental load on abiotic resource depletion, emissions of volatile organic compounds and ecotoxicity than the NMMO/H2O process. Conversely it has some environmental advantages with regards to human toxicity. In both cellulose dissolution processes, the major contributions to the environmental impacts come from precursor syntheses.
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Serena Righi, Andrea Morfino, Paola Galletti, Chiara Samorì, Alessandro Tugnoli and Carlo Stramigioli
Green Chem., 2011, DOI: 10.1039/C0GC00647E, Paper