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Novel Brønsted Acidic Ionic Liquids and Their Use as Dual Solvent−Catalysts

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journal contribution
posted on 07.05.2002, 00:00 by Amanda C. Cole, Jessica L. Jensen, Ioanna Ntai, Kim Loan T. Tran, Kristin J. Weaver, David C. Forbes, James H. Davis
The reaction of triphenylphosphine or N-butylimidazole with cyclic sultones gives zwitterions that are subsequently converted into ionic liquids by reaction with trifluoromethane sulfonic acid or p-toluenesulfonic acid. The resulting ionic liquids have cations to which are tethered alkane sulfonic acid groups. These Brønsted acidic ionic liquids are useful solvent/catalysts for several organic reactions, including Fischer esterification, alcohol dehydrodimerization and the pinacol rearrangement. The new ionic liquids combine the low volatility and ease of separation from product normally associated with solid acid catalysts, with the higher activity and yields normally found using conventional liquid acids.