Seminar: Dr. Kenneth Seddon (Queens University Belfast) will present “Applications of Ionic Liquids” to the department

Seminar: Dr. Kenneth Seddon (Queens University Belfast) will present “Applications of Ionic Liquids” to the department.

This paper covers two processes of industrial significance: if time permits, I will also describe work from Dr. Nimal Gunaratne, dealing with processes for personal care products.1 The first technology described is the first commercial application of ionic liquids for the removal of mercury from gas streams, and the first industrial application of solid-supported ionic liquids.2 Our novel technology is currently in
commercial practise in two reactors in Petronas facilities in Malaysia, treating natural gas streams within a gas processing plant for nearly four years of continuous operation. We describe here, to the extent possible at the moment, the process for mercury capture, comparing with extant technology, and the path to commercialisation in a record time for developments in this industry. In addition, we outline the salient features of a unique and special partnership between industry and academia that made this possible. The science, the fast track methodology and partnerships will be described. This commercial project draws on expertise and tools which were developed within QUILL, and described in “A Roadmap to Commercialisation with Ionic Liquids” ( We will take the audience through parallel tracking of critical path activities including due diligence and risk assessment, and demonstrate how the technology was commercialised in less than three years with a high performance team. The second process described is carbon dioxide uptake from natural gas by binary ionic liquid-water mixture.3 Carbon dioxide solubility in a set of carboxylate ionic liquids formulated with near equimolar amounts of water is found to be significantly higher than for ionic liquids previously reported. This is due to synergistic chemical and physical absorption. The formulated ionic liquid/water mixtures show greatly enhanced carbon dioxide solubility relative to both anhydrous ionic liquids and aqueous ionic liquid solutions, and are competitive with commercial chemical absorbers, such as activated N-methyldiethanolamine or monoethanolamine.

1. H.Q.N. Gunaratne, P. Nockemann and K.R. Seddon, Chem. Commun., 2015, 51, 4455-4457.
2. M. Abai, M.P. Atkins, A. Hassan, J.D. Holbrey, Y. Kuah, P. Nockemann, A.A. Oliferenko, N.V. Plechkova, S. Rafeen, A.A. Rahman, R. Ramli, S.M. Shariff, K.R. Seddon, G. Srinivasan and Y. Zou, Dalton Trans., 2015, 44, 8617-24.
3. K. Anderson, M.P. Atkins, J. Estager, Y. Kuah, S. Ng, A.A. Oliferenko, N.V. Plechkova, A.V. Puga, K.R. Seddon and D.F. Wassell, Green Chem., 2015, 17, 4340-4354, 4500.