Ionic liquids (ILs) have recently garnered increased attention because of their potential environmental benefits as "green" replacements over conventional volatile organic solvents. While ILs cannot significantly volatilize and contribute to air pollution, even the most hydrophobic ones present some miscibility with water posing environmental risks to the aquatic ecosystems. Thus, the knowledge of ILs toxicity and their water solubility must be assessed before an accurate judgment of their environmental benefits and prior to their industrial applications. In this work, the mutual solubilities for [C2-C8mim][Tf2N] (n-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide) and water between 288.15 and 318.15 K at atmospheric pressure were measured. Although these are among the most hydrophobic ionic liquids known, the solubility of water in these compounds is surprisingly large, ranging from 0.17 to 0.36 in mole fraction, while the solubility of these ILs in water is much lower ranging from 3.2 × 10-5 to 1.1 × 10-3 in mole fraction, in the temperature and pressure conditions studied. From the experimental data, the molar thermodynamic functions of solution and solvation such as Gibbs energy, enthalpy, and entropy at infinite dilution were estimated, showing that the solubility of these ILs in water is entropically driven. The predictive capability of COSMO-RS, a model based on unimolecular quantum chemistry calculations, was evaluated for the description of the binary systems investigated providing an acceptable agreement between the model predictions and the experimental data both with the temperature dependence and with the ILs structural variations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry