Developing green technology is important for sustainable economic growth while reduce the environmental impact. Ionic liquids (ILs), as a green medium, have many unique properties, such as the adjustable acidity and basicity, special ionic micro-environment, and designed structure, etc., and have wide application prospect in green reaction and separation technology. In the past decades, we recognized a single technology or process is not possible to realize the green target of the society, therefore it is necessary to establish green innovative technology systems.
In this report, several global interested green systems mainly from IL, CO2 capture & utilization, renewable biomass utilization and waste polymer recycling, are discussed. 1) Regarding the CO2 capture & utilization, ILs could be designed or tailored for efficient capture of CO2 from flue gas or other diluted gases. Then CO2 could be converted to chemicals, for example, carbonates, polycarbonates, methanol and so on, by reacting with epoxides and H2. 2) With regard to renewable biomass utilization, the great challenge is how to fully use the variety of biomass. The ideal system should be the cascade utilization, i.e. first separate the components, and then utilize each component efficiently in terms of its nature. 3) About waste polymer recycling, ionic liquids could be also efficient in the recycling of polymers such as PET. It is expected that a larger green system of renewable biomass or polymers could be realized in the near future.
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Suojiang Zhang is Director General of Institute of Process Engineering (IPE), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Dean of College of Chemical Engineering, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS). Director of Beijing Key Laboratory of Ionic Liquids Clean Process, and Director of the Professional Committee of Chinese Chemical Society Ionic Liquids and Green Engineering. He is a professor, Member of CAS, and the fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Prof. Zhang graduated and received his Ph.D. degree from Zhejiang University in 1994, and then he joined in Beijing University of Chemical Technology as the postdoctoral fellow. In 1995, he won the scholarship of Japanese Ministry of Education and went to Japan to do research at Nihon University. In 1997, he was employed by Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation. From 1998, he worked there as Senior Engineer and Senior Consultant. From 2001, he joined in IPE as the “Hundred Talents". Now, he is the Editor-in-Chief of Green Energy & Environment and Process Engineering Journal of China, and is serving as Editorial Board Members of several international journals such as Industrial Engineering Chemical Research, Green Chemistry, Journal Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology and so on.
Prof. Zhang’s research interest is ionic liquids and green process engineering. He has published more than 300 peer reviewed papers, as well as 8 monographs and 8 chapters by global scientific publishers (e.g., Elsevier and Springer). Till now, his publications have received over 15000 citations by the scientists in the society of chemistry, chemical engineering, and process engineering, with a citation H-index of 60 (Google Scholar). From 2014 to 2017, he was a highly cited scholar by Elsevier. In 2016, he was the Top 1% highly cited scholar by RSC. He devotes himself to promoting the innovation and application of ILs in green process engineering with pioneering achievements. He has filed 120 issued patents including 10 PCT/U.S./Japan patents. He also won several awards, such as the Second Class Prize of National Natural Science Award in 2010, the Science and Technology Promotion Award of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2017.