Amino acid ionic liquids.

Department of Biotechnology, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588, Japan.
Accounts of Chemical Research (Impact Factor: 20.83). 12/2007; 40(11):1122-9. DOI: 10.1021/ar700053z
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The preparation of ionic liquids derived from amino acids, and their properties, are outlined. Since amino acids have both a carboxylic acid residue and an amino group in a single molecule, they can be used as either anions or cations. These groups are also useful in their ability to introduce functional group(s). Twenty different natural amino acids were used as anions, to couple with the 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium cation. The salts obtained were all liquid at room temperature. The properties of the resulting ionic liquids (AAILs) depend on the side groups of the amino acids involved. These AAILs, composed of an amino acid with some functional groups such as a hydrogen bonding group, a charged group, or an aromatic ring, had an increased glass transition (or melting) temperature and/or higher viscosity as a result of additional interactions among the ions. Viscosity is reduced and the decomposition temperature of imidazolium-type salts is improved by using the tetrabutylphosphonium cation. The chirality of AAILs was maintained even upon heating to 150 degrees C after acetylation of the free amino group. The amino group was also modified to introduce a strong acid group so as to form hydrophobic and chiral ionic liquids. Unique phase behavior of the resulting hydrophobic ionic liquids and water mixture is found; the mixture is clearly phase separated at room temperature, but the solubility of water in this IL increases upon cooling, to give a homogeneous solution. This phase change is reversible, and separation occurs again by raising the temperature a few degrees. It is extraordinary for an IL/water mixture to display such behavior with a lower critical solution temperature. Some likely applications are proposed for these amino acid derived ionic liquids.

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