Ionic Liquids Demonstrator
The Ionic Liquid Demonstrator (ILD) is a multi-application pilot plant facility to showcase the application of ionic liquids primarily in the area of metal processing. The ILD has been funded through the EU IONMET project, Scionix and the Leicestershire Economic Partnership (LSEP). The ILD project builds on the historic and ongoing research and development activities in the Green Chemistry group at the University of Leicester to transfer its ionic liquids applications know-how to Leicestershire business. The Leicester ionic liquid applications have real potential to bring new value-added gains to existing businesses within the sub-region.
As an environmentally friendly, non-toxic substitute for current processes, their use would create both health and safety and environmental benefits, in addition to competitive product advantage achieved through better tailoring of product characteristics (hardness, fineness, adherence etc.). By removing harsh acid-based processes, ionic liquid applications improve energy efficiency and decrease the emission of chemicals to the environment.
The project is working with local businesses to encourage end-users to explore and evaluate, in a tangible way, the benefits of industrial processes based on ionic liquids. Most of the solvents Scionix has developed are based on vitamin B4 (choline chloride), which is safe and easy to manufacture in large quantities. Its use does not have to be registered. By combining the basic liquid with other molecules or salts a range of processes can be tailored to individual companies' use.
The Ionic Liquid Demonstrator has the following technologies which can be accessed:
- Immersion deposits (silver on copper, copper on aluminium or magnesium and a wide variety of others)
- Chromium electroplating from Cr(III) based liquids
- Aluminium electroplating
- Nickel plating (with or without composite particles)
- Electropolishing of stainless steel and Ni or Co alloys
- Electroplating of zinc tin alloys
- Copper composite electroplating