Ionic liquids Toxic or not?

1. Biorenewables and Bioprocessing Group, Process and Environmental Research Division, University of Nottingham, Department of Chemicaland Environmental Engineering, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
2. University of Nottingham, School of Chemistry, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK


Ionic liquids received a bad press in the early days when itwas discovered that imidazolium and pyridinium salts withlong alkyl substituents were extremely toxic.Now that ionic liquid structure-activity relationships arebetter understood, it is possible to design new, task-specificionic liquids to span the entire toxicity range, from biocidesright through to non-toxic, environmentally benign ionicliquids. Thus, there is nothing special about ionic liquidtoxicology: just like any other group of chemicals, some aretoxic and some are not.