The separation of 1,3-butadiene (1,3-C4H6) and 1-butene (n-C4H8) is quite challenging due to their close boiling points and similar molecular structures. Extractive distillation (ED) is widely regarded as a promising approach for such a separation task. For ED processes, the selection of suitable entrainer is of central importance. Traditional ED processes using organic solvents suffer from high energy consumption. To tackle this issue, the utilization of ionic liquids (ILs) can serve as a potential alternative. In this work, a high-throughput computational screening of ILs is performed to find proper entrainers, where 36,260 IL candidates comprising of 370 cations and 98 anions are involved. COSMO-RS is employed to calculate the infinite dilution extractive capacity and selectivity of the 36,260 ILs. In doing so, the ILs that satisfy the prespecified thermodynamic criteria and physical property constraints are identified. After the screening, the resulting IL candidates are sent for rigorous process simulation and design. 1,2,3,4,5-pentamethylimidazolium methylcarbonate is found to be the optimal IL solvent. Compared with the benchmark ED process where the organic solvent N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone is adopted, the energy consumption is reduced by 26%. As a result, this work offers a new IL-based ED process for efficient 1,3-C4H6 production.
Amyloid fibrils draw attention as potential novel biomaterials due to their high stability, strength, elasticity or resistance against degradation. Therefore, the controlled and fast fibrillization process is of great interest, which raises the demand for effective tools capable of regulating amyloid fibrillization. Ionic liquids (ILs) were identified as effective modulators of amyloid aggregation. The present work is focused on the study of the effect of 1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium-based ILs with kosmotropic anion acetate (EMIM-ac) and chaotropic cation tetrafluoroborate (EMIM-BF4) on the kinetics of lysozyme amyloid aggregation and morphology of formed fibrils using fluorescence and CD spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, AFM with statistical image analysis and docking calculations. We have found that both ILs decrease the thermal stability of lysozyme and significantly accelerate amyloid fibrillization in a dose-dependent manner at concentrations of 0.5%, 1% and 5% (v/v) in conditions and time-frames when no fibrils are formed in ILs-free solvent. The effect of EMIM-BF4 is more prominent than EMIM-ac due to the different specific interactions of the anionic part with the protein surface. Although both ILs induced formation of amyloid fibrils with typical needle-like morphology, a higher variability of fibril morphology consisting of a different number of intertwining protofilaments was identified for EMIM-BF4.