Desulfurisation of oils using ionic liquids: selection of cationic and anionic components to enhance extraction efficiency

John Holbrey, Ignacio Lopez-Martin, G. Rothenberg, Kenneth Seddon, G. Silvero, Xi Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

188 Citations (Scopus)


Extraction of dibenzothiophene from dodecane using ionic liquids as the extracting phase has been investigated for a range of ionic liquids with varying cation classes (imidazolium, pyridinium, and pyrrolidinium) and a range of anion types using liquid-liquid partition studies and QSPR (quantitative structure-activity relationship) analysis. The partition ratio of dibenzothiophene to the ionic liquids showed a clear variation with cation class (dimethylpyridinium > methylpyridinium > pyridinium approximate to imidazolium approximate to pyrrolidinium), with much less significant variation with anion type. Polyaromatic quinolinium-based ionic liquids showed even greater extraction potential, but were compromised by higher melting points. For example, 1-butyl-6-methylquinolinium bis{(trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl} amide (mp 47 degrees C) extracted 90% of the available dibenzothiophene from dodecane at 60 degrees C.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalGreen Chemistry
Issue number1
Early online date14 Nov 2007
Publication statusPublished - 2008


Cite this