This proposal is will open a new field of study: Using ionic liquid mixtures to provide optimal solvent systems for chemical synthesis. It is challenging and has input from a wide range of techniques, from theory, physical property measurement to measuring effects on the rates of reactions. It will generate both fundamental understanding of the behaviours of ions in mixtures and the ability to manipulate these behaviours for process development and scale-up. This will enable these exciting new systems to be applied on the industrial scale. The potential impact of the capability building represented by this programme spreads across the chemicals industry and on to society in general through more efficient, greener chemicals processing and the consequent reduction of negative environmental impacts. During the last decade ionic liquids have transformed from interesting, but poorly known materials to the subjects of huge research activity for both academic and industrial chemists. European academics and companies have been in the forefront of the application of ionic liquids. This proposal will be an important contribution to maintaining that lead. Ionic liquids are designer solvents that can be fine-tuned to be the optimum solvent for applications This project will provide a step-change in the synthetic flexibility available for ionic liquid properties design by making mixtures of ionic liquids. This is an entirely new approach and there is little information that can be used to make predictions. However, we know from our knowledge of molecular mixtures, molecular/ionic mixtures and mixtures of high melting salts, that the behaviours to be seen are likely to be complex and non-linear. This will provide opportunities to tune different properties independently to provide the optimum liquids for a wide range of applications.
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