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Ester-Containing Imidazolium-Type Ionic Liquid Crystals Derived from Bio-based Fatty Alcohols

Enrique del Río 1 Thomas Vidil 1, * Wafa Gati 1 Étienne Grau 1 Daniel Taton 2, * Henri Cramail 1, 3, *
* Corresponding author
1 Team 2 LCPO : Biopolymers & Bio-sourced Polymers
LCPO - Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères Organiques
2 Team 1 LCPO : Polymerization Catalyses & Engineering
LCPO - Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères Organiques
Abstract : The need to take into account the life cycle of ionic liquids (ILs), from the sourcing of the raw materials involved in their synthesis to their disposal and degradation, has become paramount in the design of new IL-type molecular structures. In the case of 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium salts, one of the prominent IL families, there is an increasing demand for synthetic methods involving (i) substitution of the petro-based alkyl derivatives by readily available bio-sourced surrogates and (ii) functionalization of the alkyl tail with heterofunctional groups enabling the (bio)degradation of ILs after use. Herein, a straightforward and industrially viable synthesis of lipidic imidazolium salts is reported, starting from different bio-sourced fatty alcohols, including oleic, stearyl, and lauryl alcohols. This procedure is based on the acrylation of fatty alcohols, followed by the aza-Michael addition of the imidazole group onto the acrylate moiety. Subsequent quaternization, using either methyl iodide or methyl tosylate, provides a library of 1-alkylpropionate-3-methylimidazolium salts with various alkyl chain lengths (C18, C12, and C11) and incorporating different types of counteranions (iodide, tosylate, and tetrafluoroborate). These ester-containing analogues of classical 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium salts are all ILs, that is, with a melting point below 100 °C. In addition, most of them exhibit a liquid-crystal behavior and can be referred to as IL crystals (ILCs). The thermal stability, as well as the phase transitions of these ILs, has been investigated by thermogravimetric analysis, as well as differential scanning calorimetry, respectively, while the molecular structure into the crystalline phase and the mesophase is studied by X-ray scattering. Interestingly, ILCs featuring unsaturated alkyl tails exhibit a low melting point, close to room temperature, and the presence of the ester function is shown to provide an enhanced stabilization of the mesophase.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 29, 2021 - 6:13:44 PM
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Enrique del Río, Thomas Vidil, Wafa Gati, Étienne Grau, Daniel Taton, et al.. Ester-Containing Imidazolium-Type Ionic Liquid Crystals Derived from Bio-based Fatty Alcohols. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, American Chemical Society, 2021, 9 (37), pp.12687-12698. ⟨10.1021/acssuschemeng.1c05122⟩. ⟨hal-03455692⟩



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