Is cellulose dissolution process with ionic liquids really environmentally friendly?

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.

Read more about this article here:

Comparative cradle-to-gate life cycle assessments of cellulose dissolution with 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride and N-methyl-morpholine-N-oxide

Serena Righi, Andrea Morfino, Paola Galletti, Chiara Samorì, Alessandro Tugnoli and Carlo Stramigioli
Green Chem., 2011, DOI: 10.1039/C0GC00647E, Paper

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