The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop environmentally friendly (green engineered) single phase heat transfer fluids based on ionic liquids that are synthesized from naturally derived sources. Ionic liquids are mixtures of anions and cations with a melting point below 100C (i.e. liquid salts). High temperature single phase thermofluids are needed commercially for both open (to atmosphere) and closed systems. Open high temperature systems are commonly found in the plastic processing industry, open baths, pilot plants, solar heating, and optical coatings equipment. Closed systems are found in the chemical (paint resin, polymers, and adhesives) and pharmaceutical industries.
Currently available single phase heat transfer fluids that will survive harsh environments (such as high temperatures and oxidative environments) are too costly, potentially toxic, and mainly derived from petroleum based starting materials. Petroleum based ionic liquids are normally considered to be green material due to their zero vapor pressure and non-flammability. However, for applications that may have leakage or generate large volumes for disposal, they do not fit the definition of a green material. The proposed single phase heat transfer fluids based on ionic liquids will overcome these shortcomings by being: derived from natural sources (such as common sugars), non-toxic, biodegradable, non-flammable, and low cost.