CORDIS - EU research results

Development and testing of new standards for sorption measurement and characterisation of ionic liquids (S-SCIL)

Final Report Summary - S-SCIL (Development and testing of new standards for sorption measurement and characterisation of ionic liquids)

Global warming, reduce of available resources and increase in Earth's population are only three of the challenges that impose the necessity to develop new technologies to mitigate threats associated with current lifestyles. Sustainable development is crucial for the maintenance of life and needs to be implemented in nearly all industrial fields, including energy generation, food production, industrial and consumer goods and waste treatment.

Sorption could offer numerous solutions in this direction, including innovative or improved technologies for gas cleaning, biogas and hydrogen production, treatment and storage and waste recycling; therefore, its importance is continuously increasing. This implies an increasing demand for reliable sorption data, including the equilibrium properties, as well as kinetic data for both fundamental research and process applications. As a result, a steadily increasing demand for new measuring standards and instrumental investigations is anticipated. On the other hand, ionic liquids, i.e. salts with a melting point close to ambient temperature, are recognised as innovative solvents which could help reduce ecologically harmful waste to a minimum. Therefore, the potential to conduct selective sorption measurements for ionic liquids application ought to be investigated.

The S-SCIL project was conducted in the this context and aimed to develop and test new standards to measure the selective sorption for multigas applications. The innovations served in the characterisation of the selective behaviour of substances involved in the process, such as porous solids, nanoparticles, polymers and liquids. Moreover, the process itself was investigated in terms of temperature, pressure and composition. Finally, the main single gas sorption measuring standards, as well as the multigas ones that were developed during the project, were analysed and adapted for the characterisation and investigation of gas processing based on ionic liquids.

The structure of the project in eight distinct, yet interrelated, work packages (WPs) allowed for the successful achievement of its goals. The obtained results included:
1. a new standard for multigas sorption measuring in quasistatic atmospheres;
2. new apparatus for multigas sorption measuring in solid and fixed beds;
3. monogas and multigas measuring methods for ionic liquids;
4. new methods for high-pressure gas analysis.

The unique magnetic suspension balance technique that was developed by the consortium members increased the application potential of gravimetric methods, ensuring sorption measurements under a wide range of measuring conditions. Moreover, the state-of-the-art apparatus was improved and enhanced by instrumentation for sorptive gas analysis, in order to apply the gravimetric measuring method in a wide range of temperature and pressure conditions. A series of experiments resulted in detailed specifications for the new multigas sorption measuring standard.

In addition, a series of marketable, standardised instruments for both monogas and multigas measurements were developed and constructed. The innovations consisted of five modules, namely a high-pressure reaction vessel, a gas-dosing and pressure-regulating module, a vapour-dosing system, a module for the analysis of the measuring atmosphere, and integrated analytical software. The equipment was easily upgradeable, easy and safe to handle, easy to maintain, allowed for remote diagnosis via the Internet and, finally, was accompanied by self-explanatory detailed software. The designed methods and apparatus were finally adapted and evaluated for their applicability to characterise ionic liquids and processes based on this kind of fluid.