Joining forces with ISIS: using neutron scattering to study ionic liquids based on sulfuric acid

Protic ionic liquids based on sulfuric acid and various bases are very simple to prepare, very inexpensive, and prove themselves to be incredibly versatile as solvents and catalysts. In collaboration with the Chrobok group, we have used them to catalyse esterifications and ε-caprolactam synthesis, whereas other groups developed an entire technology for processing wood to platform chemicals, based on these media.

However, the structure of ionic liquids based on sulfuric acid is nothing but simple, and complicates further with the addition of water. To understand what’s going on at the molecular level, we came for a week to the SANDALS beamline at ISIS Neutron and Muon Source.

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