Studying the Mechanism of Metal Extraction with Ionic Liquids

The “superheavy” elements are found only in labs. The small amounts of material available means chemists must use special techniques to study them. This research developed a new way to study the chemistry of metallic elements with extremely low concentrations of material. This may lead to better methods of recovering iridium, an element that is critical to national security and the economy.

Adjusting the Dance Tunes the Melt

Many chemical processes require liquids as solvents, but the liquids often vaporize and release hazardous emissions in the process. Ionic liquids offer a solution because they have low volatility but can have melting points too high for practical use. New research used molecular simulations and experiments to demonstrate how changing the structure of ionic liquids changes their melting point.