Submitted to: American Chemical Society National Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 24, 2010
Publication Date: March 24, 2010
Citation: Evans, K.O. 2010. 1-butyl-3-methyl imidazolium-based ionic liquids explored as potential solvents for lipid processing [abstract]. American Chemical Society. Paper No. PHY575. p. 210. Technical Abstract: Due to global environmental concerns, there is increasing interest in replacing the volatile solvents currently used to process commodity plant lipids. Room-temperature molten salts are one type of media receiving great attention as a possible replacement of the typical organic solvent. Molten salts have low to no volatility/flammability. They also have chemical/thermal stability, high ionic conductivity, excellent electrochemical stability, and tuneability for chemical/physical properties. This work explored the potential 1-butyl-3-methyl imidazolium (BMIM)-based molten salts had for dissolving phospholipids. Using fluorescence microscopy, it was found that phosphatidylcholine (PC) lipids could form bilayer structures (vesicles and nanotubes) in 1-BMIM-based ionic liquids, suggesting the BMIM-based ionic liquids explored did not dissolve PC lipids. However, AFM images show that one BMIM-based ionic liquid did partially solubilize a PC bilayer containing 30 mol% phosphatidylethanolamine (PE). Implications are that BMIM-based ionic liquids may be used specifically for processing PE lipids. These fundamental findings should shed light on how best to process lipids in room-temperature molten salts.