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Technology Advancements in Ionic Liquids (TechVision)

  • ID: 3625732
  • Report
  • February 2016
  • Region: Global
  • 97 Pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Sustainability Initiatives Driving Opportunities for Ionic Liquids Across Industries


  • BASF
  • Boulder Ionics
  • Covalent Associates
  • Cytec and Merck
  • EPFL
  • Imperial Innovations
The market for Ionic Liquids is gaining momentum in recent years mainly due to its capability for sustainable replacement of traditional organic solvents in many industrial applications. In certain industries, ionic liquids can also be considered as green chemistry as they reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances in many of the process industries. Though most of the ionic liquid-based technologies are in the nascent stage of development, the potential market for ionic liquids is enormously large.

This research service titled, "Technology Advancements in Ionic Liquids (TechVision)" , focuses on the recent innovations and opportunities in the ionic liquids markets worldwide. This research service summarizes the existing and emerging technology and application areas related to ionic liquids. This includes use of ionic liquid as electrolytes for next-generation batteries, supercapacitors and other electrochemical devices, medium for separation processes, metal finishing, plasticizers, and so on.

The study also includes prioritization of key future opportunities for ionic liquid based technologies using a pre-defined, weightage based criteria. The focus areas of the research include opportunity analysis of several ionic liquid based emerging technologies and an assessment of their market impact. This research service also offers a roadmap highlighting the adoption of ionic liquid technologies across various industrial sectors.

Key Findings

- The major application sectors of ionic liquids are their uses as "green solvents" in numerous industrial sectors. These include chemical reaction reagents, battery electrolytes, industrial solvents, metal finishing, solvents for bioprocessing, thermal fluids and functional fluids. Among these, ionic liquid based industrial solvents and ionic liquid based separation processes have achieved highest amount of industry adoption.

- Ionic Liquids (IL) are made up of an equal number of positive and negative ions which offer properties such as stability and low-volatility, enhancing its application potential. However, toxicity of IL and the difficulty to remove intermediates during the reaction are issues that still need to be addressed. With new cations and ions being discovered, IL are expected to have a wide potential across various applications.

- Currently, the demand in the market for ionic liquids is still low. However, the opportunities offered by ionic liquids are being recognized more and more, with their uses being considered in a wide variety of potential application sectors. This will create a strong increase in ionic liquid demand in the future. North America and Western Europe currently lead the market for ionic liquids. Some factors which are driving the market include end use market expansion/global demand and eco-friendliness. Key challenges include cost and standardization problems.

- BASF, Merck, and IoLiTec are the key stakeholders identified from the supply-side perspective. The industry is highly interdependent with a large number of R&D collaborations and technology acquisitions. Also, on the supply side, companies with novel ionic liquid technologies are mostly interested in protecting their technologies by filing patents; and collaborating with end users for scaling up to commercial level.

- Legislation, functionality, economics, and niche market potential are some of the important factors effecting adoption of ionic liquid based technologies across its various end use application sectors. As an example, the strict limits on hexavalent chromium use is driving the growth potential for ionic liquids for chrome electroplating.

- Ionic Liquid formulators have been pursuing a strategy of systematically developing ionic liquid based technologies together with technology users. The main objective of these activities is to increase market demand for ionic liquids with application-oriented design.

- Technology developers and end users have varied opinions about the market demand for ionic liquids in the short term. For example, Hyrax Energy does not see any significant opportunity for ionic liquids in biotechnology in the next years; whereas, The Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) is optimistic and envisages a growth opportunity in the same application by 2020. Such mixed reactions from industry persist across all emerging application sectors.

- Different technologies are applied in manufacturing ionic liquids, so there is nothing like an ionic liquid plant with a specific capacity. Producers are currently producing quantities according to market demand. According to producers of ionic liquids, they believe performance and cost are the main two factors for end users to evaluate alternative technologies like Ionic liquids.

- Ionic liquids are a new class of substances, so have a very wide range of price from the suppliers. Cost of ionic liquids varies based on formulation and production technology and are not comparable in terms of cost per unit volume.

- Ionic liquids will likely witness higher commercialization and adoption within the next years. The economical application of ionic liquids requires that they are compatible with standard materials commonly used in niche application sectors.
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


  • BASF
  • Boulder Ionics
  • Covalent Associates
  • Cytec and Merck
  • EPFL
  • Imperial Innovations
1. Executive Summary
  • Research Scope
  • Research Process and Methodology
  • Key Findings
2. Importance of Ionic Liquids
  • Why are Ionic Liquids Important?
  • Key Characteristics
  • Some Commonly Used Ionic Liquids
3. Technology Overview
  • Technology Capability
  • Emerging Technology Trends - Regional
  • Emerging Technology Trends - Ionic Liquids vs. Other Solvents
4. Market Snapshot
  • Ionic Liquids-Market Snapshot
  • Emerging Application Sectors - Market Potential
  • Emerging Application Sectors - Market Potential (Graphical Representation)
5. Factors Impacting Technology Adoption
  • Drivers and Challenges that Impact Adoption
  • Drivers Explained
  • Challenges Explained
6. Application Sectors and Key Stakeholders
  • Key Application Sectors
  • Key Application Sectors - Industrial Solvents, Electrochemical Cells and Devices
  • Key Application Sectors - Separation Processes, Chemical Reaction Reagents
  • Key Application Sectors - Engineering Fluids, Thermal Fluids and Phase Changing Materials
  • Key Application Sectors - Pharmaceutical and Medical, Analytics, and Biotechnology
  • Key Application Sectors - Energetic Materials, Metal Finishing, Food Processing
  • Key Suppliers of Ionic Liquid Technologies Across Various Application Sectors
7. Value Chain Analysis (Supply Side)
  • Industry Value Chain
  • Industry Value Chain Explained-Key Tasks of Stakeholders
8. Technology Capability of Key Stakeholders
  • Technology Capability of Key Stakeholders - BASF
  • Technology Capability of Key Stakeholders - IoLiTec
  • Technology Capability of Key Stakeholders - Boulder Ionics
  • Technology Capability of Key Stakeholders - Cytec and Merck
  • Activities of Other Significant Stakeholders - Imperial Innovations, Covalent Associates, QUILL
  • Activities of Other Significant Stakeholders - Proionic
  • Activities of Other Significant Stakeholders - Solvionic, MIT, EPFL
  • Some Key Funding Initiatives
  • Recent Partnerships/Joint Ventures/M&A
  • Recent Academic Projects
9. Demand Side Analysis- End-User Perspective
  • Application Sectors and Key End Users
  • Application Sectors and Key End Users - Spotlight on Demand-Side Ecosystem
  • Application Sectors and Key End Users - Some Implemented Applications
  • Metal Finishing-Aluminum Electro - Deposition and Electropolishing
  • Metal Finishing-Electroplating
  • Key End User Needs-Metal Finishing
  • Biotechnology - Dissolution and Processing of Cellulose, Starch and Other Biopolymers
  • Key End Users Needs-Biotechnology
  • Electrochemical Cells and Devices - Lithium ion (Li-ion) Batteries
  • Electrochemical Cells and Devices - Supercapacitors, and Dye Sensitized Solar Cells
  • Key End Users Needs - Electrochemical Cells and Devices
  • Industrial Explosives
  • Key End Users Needs - Industrial Explosives
  • Separation Processes - Membrane Gas Separation and Liquid-Liquid Extraction
  • Key End Users Needs - Separation Processes
  • Industrial Solvent - Polymer Additives
  • Key End Users Needs - Industrial Solvents
  • Other Factors Affecting Adoption
10. Intellectual Property (IP) Analysis
  • IP Analysis - Top 20 Stakeholders
  • IP Analysis - Patents Per Source Jurisdiction (Top 20 Patent Offices)
  • IP Analysis - Patents Published across Different Application Areas
11. Assessment and Prioritization of Emerging Opportunities
  • Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) Tree
  • AHP - Level 0 and Level 1 Criteria-Definitions
  • AHP -- Evaluation of Priority Values-
  • AHP -- Evaluation
  • AHP - Evaluation of Priority Values
  • AHP - Evaluation of Priority Values--Explained
  • AHP -- Evaluation of Priority Values-Explained
12. Technology Roadmap
  • Technology Roadmap for Ionic Liquids
  • Analyst Insights
13. Key Patents
  • Key Patents - United States
  • Key Patents -- World
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
- Boulder Ionics
- Covalent Associates
- Cytec and Merck
- Imperial Innovations
- IoLiTec
- Proionic
- Solvionic
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown