Maintaining Mechanism

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Science  11 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5553, pp. 235
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5553.235e

The replacement of volatile organic solvents with ionic liquids would reduce emissions of chemicals into the environment as well as promote energy-efficient separations. One concern, however, is that solvent interactions in an ionic medium may alter the mechanism (and hence the outcome) of classical organic reactions. Csihony et al. examined one workhorse reaction, the Friedel-Crafts acetylation of benzene, in an ionic liquid,

1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride, with in situ infrared spectroscopy. They observed a temporal and spectral concordance of absorption bands associated with the expected intermediates for this reaction, such as the acetylium ion CH3CO+ in complex with the AlCl4 catalyst, for both the ionic solvent and a conventional organic solvent, 1,2-dichloroethane. — PDS

Green Chem. 3, 307 (2001).

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