Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Models to eliminate toxic ionic liquids

EU researchers have completed a comprehensive evaluation of the environmental toxicity of ionic liquids (ILs), new compounds that are seeing widespread use as modern solvents.
Models to eliminate toxic ionic liquids
ILs are being used in various industries, including electrochemistry, organic synthesis, extraction and clean energy. They are considered to be environmentally friendly in comparison to traditional solvents, but little research has looked into their ecotoxicity.

Considering the broad range of potential ILs, it would not be practical to test each IL individually for toxicity. Instead, EU-funded researchers moved to build toxicity testing models through the project IONTOX (Safe green solvents for the future: In silico predictive chemometric models for selected toxicity endpoints of ionic liquids).

IONTOX aimed to build models of quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs), which describe the potential toxic activity of ILs based on their structure. All models complied with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines for QSARs, to ensure that these models are applicable for future research.

Researchers built several different models to predict the toxicity of ILs to different model organisms. The organisms they used for these models were Daphnia magna (a zooplankton) and Scenedesmus vacuolatus (a green algae), as well as several cell lines.

IONTOX validated the models built during the course of this research. It did this by manufacturing IL compounds and testing them in the laboratory to ensure that the models and the organisms' responses agreed.

Project work helps researchers better understand what makes certain ILs toxic and others safe, and provided tools to test the toxicity of new IL compounds. This has already led to the manufacture of new, less toxic IL compounds.

Related information


Ionic liquids, solvents, ecotoxicity, IONTOX, QSARs
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