An ionic liquid (IL) is a salt in the liquid state. While an ordinary liquids such as water is predominantly made of electrically neutral molecules, ionic liquids are largely made of ions. Ionic liquids are variously called liquid electrolytes, ionic melts, ionic fluids, fused salts, liquid salts, or ionic glasses.
Ionic liquids have many applications, such as powerful solvents and electrically conducting fluids. Ionic Liquids are also used in gas storage and handling applications, certain gas transport companies use ionic liquids instead of pressurized cylinders as a transport medium for reactive gases The gases are dissolved in the liquids at or below atmospheric pressure and are withdrawn from the containers by applying a partial vacuum.
The synthesis of many ionic liquids involves a highly exothermic reaction step. By way of example, formed by mixing a carboxylic acid (e.g. formic acid) with an amine (e.g. n-butyl amine, ethyl amine). Flow chemistry systems are particularly well suited to controlling these types of exothermic reactions.