Avoid the PCB mistakes: A more sustainable future for ionic liquids
Gregory Chatel, Emmanuel Naffrechoux, Micheline Draye
Based on our original knowledge and experience on both polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) identification in aquatic ecosystems, and use of ionic liquids (ILs) as solvents and/or co-catalysts in green chemistry, we drawn a dared comparison between these two families. Indeed, PCBs has been used during several decades for their new properties, but are now considered as prevalent and persistent pollutants; some toxic effects on environment or human are still revealed. ILs, often designated as “green solvents” are increasingly used in numerous applications, but few studies reported about their environmental impact are still controversial. Through a parallel between properties and applications of PCBs and ILs, we wondered if history could not repeat itself, and how to provide a better future for ILs. Here, we provide some interesting comparisons and we discuss which tracks it could be important to follow for ILs applications in order to avoid the errors done with PCBs.