Authors: Marta Bystrzanowska, Francisco Pena-Pereira, Łukasz Marcinkowski, Marek Tobiszewski
Journal: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 174, 455-458, 2019
Due to various desirable physicochemical properties, ionic liquids (ILs) are still gaining in popularity. ILs have been recurrently considered green solvents. However, environmental, health and safety assessments of ILs have raised certain doubts about their benignness, and their greenness status is currently unclear. To clarify the situation on their greenness, we perform a comprehensive assessment of more than 300 commercially available ILs. We apply multicriteria decision analysis, the tool that allows ranking many alternatives according to relevant criteria. They are toxicity towards various organisms, biodegradability, hazard statements and precautionary measures during their handling. We incorporated organic solvents to rankings, as their greenness is better described, so they serve as greenness reference points. The ranking results obtained considering the whole set of criteria show that ILs are placed between recommended polar solvents and problematic/undesirable non polar organic solvents in terms of greenness. However, the exclusion of toxicity data due to unavailability of endpoints results in assessment of ILs as greener than most of organic solvents.