(387a) Findings On Life Cycle Aquatic Ecotoxicity Impacts of Ionic Liquids
AIChE Annual Meeting
Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 3:15pm to 3:34pm
Ionic liquids (ILs) are a class of chemicals that are being developed as a replacement for volatile organic solvents for a range of industrial applications (e.g. CO2 capture, aliphatic/aromatic separations, battery electrolytes, cellulose dissolution). Although ILs can potentially decrease health impacts associated with air emissions due to their nonvolatile nature, many of them are highly soluble in water and can become persistent aquatic pollutants. Environmental impacts of tailored ionic liquids arise both from their direct release into the environment during or after use phase as well as indirect emissions during their synthesis. In this work, we use the USEtox model to quantify aquatic ecotoxicity impacts over the life cycle of an Ionic liquid (IL), 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide (BMIM+ Br-), from cradle to grave. The aquatic ecotoxicity impacts from synthesis of this IL as well as its release into the enviorment have been taken into account. Life cycle impact assessment methods define environmental impacts in terms of characterization factors. In this work, for the first time we have developed these characterization factors for ILs. The USEtox, a multimedia fate and transport model, was used to derive fate factors and exposure factors needed for this calculation while a large number of literature data related to toxicity of ILs in a variety of species was used to derive the effect factor. Finally we compare the ecotoxicity production impacts with that of direct exposure.
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