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Effects of three ionic liquids on microbial activity of an organic soil. Microcalorimetric study.
1 , 1 , 2 , 1 , * 1
1  University of Santiago de Compostela
2  Instituto de Investigaciones Agrobiológicas de Galicia. CSIC


Ionic liquids are considered as a potential green replacement for traditional volatile organic solvents, but their impact on the environment is not studied enough. Despite the increasing number of papers reporting studies trying to determine the toxic effects of different ILs, the knowledge of their toxicity is still an open question.

The effect of different amounts (from 0% to 100%) of three ionic liquids, two based imidazolium, dimethylimidazolium dimethylphosphate ([MMIM][DMP] and 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate ([BMIM][BF4]), and choline dihydrogen phosphate ([Chol][DHP]) on the microbial activity of an organic soil was determined in this work. For this propose, an isothermal microcalorimeter, TAM III of TA Instruments was used. This apparatus allows estimating the variation of the metabolic activity trough the variation of the heat released after the addition of the ILs to the soil.

The results showed that the most toxic IL is [BMIM][BF4] which presented a large stress effect and subsequent death on soil microorganisms for the highest concentration of the IL. On the contrary, [Chol][DHP] showed stimulation of the microbial activity for all the concentrations.

Keywords: Ionic liquids, toxicity, isothermal calorimetry, soil microbial activity