December 7, 2006 – nGimat announced that Dr. Scott Flanagan, Senior Project Scientist, has been selected to present its new series of ionic liquid solvents at the Intertech-Pira Ionic Liquids Conference to be held December 11-12 in Orlando, Florida. These new environmentally friendly ionic liquid solvents are intended to make industrial processes run cleaner and consume less energy.
“Because volatile organic solvents are a source of hazardous emissions and air pollution and are implicated in ozone depletion and global warming, nGimat recognized the opportunity for the development of products designed to eliminate emissions from industrial processes,” said Dr. Flanagan. “The process to manufacture terephthalic acid used to make PET, a polymer widely used to make textile fibers and soft drink bottles requires the application of high heat and pressure, and uses the organic solvent acetic acid, which generates emissions. We decided to focus initial demonstration of our ionic liquids capabilities on this application.”
nGimat’s new series of ionic liquid solvents are derived from 2-ethylhexanoic acid and have essentially no vapor pressure and should therefore have significantly reduced emissions. Several of the new salts are liquids at room temperature and fall into a relatively rare category known as room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) which are prized over other ionic liquids for their ease of use. Dr. Flanagan says that initial experiments have demonstrated significant reduction in the pressure required to manufacture terephthalic acid, which has the potential to dramatically reduce the energy requirements for this process while at the same time reducing harmful emissions.
“Regulations governing the use of solvents classified as Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP) or as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are forcing companies to look for alternatives to solvents presently in use,” said Dr. Flanagan. “We are pleased with our initial results and will continue to develop new environmentally friendly ionic liquid solvents for companies that manufacture pharmaceuticals, intermediates, performance chemicals, organic solvents or related products.”