The Applied Electrochemistry and Electrothermal Experts
+44 (0)151 347 2900

Ionic liquids have industrial applications in electro-deposition of metals and recovery of plastics and metals from waste streams. The unique properties of ionic liquids open up a wide range of applications, and C-Tech Innovation has a number of active research activities and projects utilising ionic liquids. We can assist in selection of ionic liquids, process engineering planning and plant delivery.

Process Benefits

Key benefits include:

  • Excellent solvents for a large variety of organic, inorganic, and polymeric materials
  • Large working temperature range (-40 to +200 °C), and (for selected ionic liquids) resistance to water and air oxidation
  • Ionic liquids have essentially zero vapour pressure. This eliminates the volatile organocarbon compounds (VOCs)
  • This zero volatility allows for high temperature reactions without the requirement of a pressure vessel to contain the vapours
  • Designability. Some ionic liquids are water soluble, others are not. Some dissolve typical organic solvents, others do not. It has been estimated there are 108 different possible ionic liquids
  • They can exhibit acidic or basic properties, and have the potential to catalyze certain reactions in certain systems
  • Ionic liquids represent the first economically viable alternative to aqueous plating baths. It has also been demonstrated that metal salts are soluble in the ionic liquids, which makes the deposition of alloys possible.

What we can do for you

Ionic liquids are increasingly playing an important role in our process research strategy. The change from laboratory based to plant based processes is one key element of our Ionic liquids research strategy.

  • To enhance economic recovery of materials from waste including metals and plastics e.g. nickel and nylon
  • Replacing VOCs with ionic liquids in industrial processes and technological devices which can result in a substantial reduction in pollution
  • The electro-deposition of most of technologically important metals has been shown to be possible from a wide range of room temperature ionic liquids, C-Tech Innovation can scale up these processes
  • Flexible pilot plants design and construction
  • Design and use in electrochemical devices, e.g. ionic liquid electrolytes in batteries



Developing hydrometallurgical (as opposed to pyrometallurgical) processes for the recovery of materials including rare earth metals.

Project Website


Exploiting the high selectivity which can be achieved by ionic liquids to extract these components from complex mixtures.


Testing the feasibility of a radically new process to recover critical metals from scrap engine turbine blades using specific types of novel ionic liquid.


Developing a process involving an Ionic liquid extraction that will selectively recover the targeted high value nickel under mild conditions.

Project Website