A chemical industry, and that too, cleaner “green”! Its no kidding. An X-ray technique showing a novel kind of solvent at work for the first time can actually boost efforts to create such a chemical industry. Generating interest as a replacement for traditional organic solvents, the solvent is an ionic liquid. Unlike conventional solvents, ionic liquids don’t evaporate in normal atmospheric conditions. So, there is no danger that people will be exposed to toxic fumes from solvent residues. But before these solvents start being widely used in the industry, Peter Licence of the University of Nottingham in the UK wanted to characterize the chemistry of ionic liquids and to examine how metal catalysts perform in ionic solvents using a technique called X-ray photo electron spectroscopy, or XPS. But there was one obstacle, as it can always be for techniques like XPS, which can normally only be carried out on solids.
Via: New Scientist