Joris' review on the use and production of ionic liquids has been published in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. This paper resulted from a collaboration with the De Vos group and the Binnemans group.
Replacing conventional solvents by ionic liquids is often suggested as a possible route to greener industrial processes. However, ionic liquids are typically petroleum-derived. This critical perspective discusses the syntheses, applications and limitations of biobased ionic liquids synthesized from amino acids, carbohydrates, lignin and other renewable sources. The practical aspects of applying such ionic liquids in lignocellulose processing, as a reaction solvent, organocatalyst or as metal extraction medium are highlighted.