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Molecules Webinar | Advances in Separation Processes Achieved by Ionic Liquids

3 Jun 2021, 15:00

Molecules, Ionic Liquids, Separation Processes, Enhancing Sorption, Extraction Processes, Downstream Processes, Biorefinery Applications
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Welcome from the Chair

10th Molecules Webinar

Advances in Separation Processes Achieved by Ionic Liquids

Due to their relevance in modern life and application in several industries, separation processes are introduced at the graduation level of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Biotechnology courses. With the goal of developing more cost-efficient processes, ionic liquids (ILs) have been applied in different fields in which large-scale separation is mandatory, namely in the separation of gases, metals from e-waste, products extracted from biomass, pharmaceuticals, and in the desulfurization of fuels. On the other hand, they have also been investigated for analytical chemistry purposes, mainly for sample preparation. In the past decades, relevant advances in separation processes have been achieved by the use of ionic liquids. At this point, the following question arises: are the developed advances on their way to reach the market and be applied in real life?
This webinar will join outstanding scientists working in the field of ionic liquids applied in separation processes, covering different areas of application, which will present their scientific accomplishments and provide a critical view on what is missing to apply ionic liquids at the industrial level in their field of expertise.

Date: 3 June 2021

Time: 3:00pm CEST | 9:00am EDT | 9:00pm CST Asia

Webinar ID: 944 3044 4970

Webinar Secretariat:


University of Aveiro, Portugal

Mara G. Freire graduated in Chemistry in 2003 at the University of Aveiro, Portugal, receiving the “Best Chemistry Student Award” from Dow Portugal. By the end of 2007, she had completed her PhD in Chemical Engineering by University of Aveiro, with trainees at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Claude Bernard University, Lyon, France, followed by post-doctoral activities at ITQB2, New University of Lisbon, Portugal. Since February 2014, Freire has been a Coordinator Researcher at CICECO—Aveiro Institute of Materials, Chemistry Department, University of Aveiro, Portugal. She is a Coordinator of Group 5 of CICECO, Biomedical and Biomimetic Materials, Deputy Chair of the Scientific Council of University of Aveiro, and the co-founder of the spin-off RYAPUTECH. In addition to other projects and awards, Freire has been the recipient of two European Research Council (ERC) Grants. She has published more than 250 scientific manuscripts, having an h-factor of 66 and over 13,500 citations, and has supervised 15 PhD and 50 MSc students. Her main research interests comprise the development of sustainable separation platforms for added-value compounds with therapeutic applications, most of the time resorting to ionic liquids due to their designer solvents ability.

Invited Speakers

Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India

Dr. Ramesh Laxminarayan Gardas is a Full Professor in Chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. He has more than 20 years of research and 10 years of teaching experience. So far, he has guided 11 PhD and 15 MSc students. He has co-authored 4 patents, 6 book chapters, 7 conference papers and 180 research publications, which have received more than 6400 citations with an h-index = 39. He has delivered more than 190 invited talks and guest lectures. Dr. Gardas’ research group focusses on ‘Chemical Thermodynamics’ and ‘Phase Equilibria’ of industrially important solvents and their mixtures. His research group substantially contributed to the development of non-conventional and environmentally benign solvent systems (including ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents as alternatives to volatile organic solvents). We generated extensive databases on their thermodynamic properties and structure–composition–property correlations useful in refrigeration, separation science and crude oil industry. His research group strives to design task-specific ionic liquids and to provide an important insight into physical chemistry to regulate their properties for varied technological applications, such as phase change materials, CO2 capturing, the dissolution of tank bottom sludge, electrolytes in solar cell and supercapacitors, absorbents for refrigeration system, desulfurization of fuels, and the extraction of metal ions, biomolecules and value-added products. Dr. Gardas has been bestowed with several awards/recognitions by prestigious institutes/societies, including the Mid-Career R&D Award—2020 by IIT Madras; Associate Editor of Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data (an American Chemical Society Journal); Fellow Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), UK; Publons Top Peer Review Award 2019 (Top 1% of Reviewers in Chemistry); and featured in the list of “World Ranking of Top 2% Scientists” in the 2020 database created by experts at Stanford University, USA.

University of Aveiro, Portugal

Sónia P. M. Ventura concluded her PhD in Chemical Engineering—field of Bioengineering and her master’s in Chemical Engineering in 2007. She graduated in Chemical Engineering in 2006 at the University of Aveiro. Nowadays, she is an Assistant Professor and Vice-director for Internationalization, Cooperation with Industry and Dissemination for Society at the Chemistry Department of University of Aveiro. She is also a member of the Aveiro Institute of Materials, CICECO. Since January 2021, she has been one of the editorial members of ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering as an Early Career Editorial Board. Her research is devoted essentially to the development of sustainable downstream processes to valorize marine and freshwater raw materials by applying task-specific ecosolvents and sustainable technologies. She is more dedicated to the extraction and purification of biopolymers and pigments and their application in biomedical devices, photodynamic therapy, food packaging and renewable energy.

University of Twente, The Netherlands

Ionic liquids are often praised for their negligible vapor pressure and non-flammability, and these arguments are frequently used to call ionic liquids (ILs) green solvents. In recent years, the field of deep eutectic solvents (DESs) has appeared next to the field of ILs, and DESs are often seen as cheap alternatives to ILs. Both ILs and DESs have extensively been studied for extractions in biorefinery applications. In the lecture, I will present highlights of biorefinery research of ILs and DESs, and will explain why solvent regeneration is of the utmost importance for truly green and sustainable processes. I will present several examples from my group, and discuss the best practices for IL and DES regeneration strategies based on these examples.
Boelo Schuur has studied Chemical Engineering in Groningen, where he completed his MSc and PhD under the supervision of Erik Heeres. In 2008, he became an assistant professor in the group of André de Haan at TU Eindhoven, and was a visiting researcher for the Alan Hatton group at MIT. Currently, he is a professor of separation technology in the Sustainable Process Technology group at the University of Twente, with a focus on affinity fluid separations. Among the application areas are biorefineries, e.g., based on microalgae and on lignocellulosic biomass, as well as the recovery of valuable molecules from digested wastewater. To gain better insights into intermolecular interactions in affinity separations, molecular modeling in combination with isothermal titration calorimetry is a useful tool. The regeneration of solvents and sorbents is mostly done through changing conditions such as temperature or pressure, but in some cases, is also done through the use of stimuli-responsive separating agents, such as CO2-switchable solvents. Boelo has presented invited plenary and keynote lectures at seven international conferences, including the plenary lecture at the International Solvent Extraction Conference, ISEC 2017 in Japan. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers. He teaches Industrial Chemistry and Processes, and Advanced Molecular Separations. Furthermore, he was a board member of the Netherlands Process Technologists NPT from 2012–2018, and currently still serves as an NPT representative at the EFCE, and as a secretary for the EFCE Working Party on Fluid Separations.

Webinar Content

On Thursday 3 June 2021, MDPI and the Journal Molecules organized the 10th webinar entitled "Advances in Separation Processes Achieved by Ionic Liquids".

In the past decades relevant advances in separation processes have been achieved with ionic liquids, paving the way for their application at the large-scale. In this Webinar, 4 researchers working in the field presented relevant examples on what has been done with ionic liquids in the field of separations and on the efforts still needed to widen their industrial applications.

The introduction was held by the Chair of the webinar, Prof. Dr. Mara G. Freire, from University of Aveiro, Portugal. She made an overview of the use and advantages of Ionic Liquids in Separation Processes, and was in charge of presenting the panel of speakers of the webinar.

Prof. Dr. Ramesh Laxminarayan Gardas from Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India, followed the chair's introduction and presented his work on "Ionic Liquids as Promising Components for Enhancing the Sorption and Extraction Processes".

After his presentation, Dr. Sónia P. M. Ventura, from the University of Aveiro, Portugal moved the discussion to the use of Ionic Liquids in biorefineries with her presentation "Overviewing the Downstream Processes Based in Ionic Liquids Applied to Marine Biorefinery".

The final presentation was given by Prof. Dr. Boelo Schuur University of Twente, the Netherlands. He explained how Ionic Liquids and DESs can be regenerated for Biorefinery Applications.

The presentations were followed by a Q&A and a discussion, moderated by the Chair. The webinar was offered via Zoom and required registration to attend. The full recording can be found here on Sciforum website. In order to stay updated on the next webinars on Molecules, be sure to sign up for our newsletter by clicking on “Subscribe” at the top of the page.


This is a FREE webinar. The number of participants to the live session is limited but the recording will be made available on Sciforum shortly afterwards. Registrations with academic institutional email addresses will be prioritized.



Time in CEST

Prof. Dr. Mara G. Freire

Chair Introduction

3:00 - 3:05 pm

Prof. Dr. Mara G. Freire

Ionic Liquids in Separation Processes – a Brief Overview

3:05 - 3:30 pm

Prof. Dr. Ramesh Laxminarayan Gardas

Ionic Liquids as Promising Components for Enhancing the Sorption and Extraction Processes

3:30 - 3:55 pm

Dr. Sónia P. M. Ventura

Overviewing the Downstream Processes Based in Ionic Liquids Applied to Marine Biorefinery

3:55 - 4:20 pm

Prof. Dr. Boelo Schuur

Regeneration of Ionic Liquids and DESs in Biorefinery Applications

4:20 - 4:45 pm

Q&A Session

4:45 - 5:10 pm

Closing of Webinar
Prof. Dr. Mara G. Freire

5:10 - 5:15 pm

Relevant SIs

New Trends in Ionic Liquids Application
Guest Editor: Prof. Dr. João Paulo Leal
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 June 2021

Ionic Liquids in Chemical Separations
Guest Editor: Prof. Dr. Santiago Aparicio
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 September 2021

Two-Phase Systems: New Trends and Applications
Guest Editor: Prof. Dr. Álvaro Silva Lima
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 October 2021

Exclusive Review Papers in Molecular Liquids
Guest Editor: Prof. Dr. Mara G. Freire and Prof. Dr. Santiago Aparicio
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021

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