The QUILL Research Centre (Queen’s University Ionic Liquid Laboratories) is the oldest and most established centre dedicated to studying ionic liquids and their analogues. It was founded in 1999 based on the US NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centre model, and pursues both fundamental and pre-competitive research, supported by an Industrial Advisory Board, and higher-TRL studies in close collaboration with industrial partners.
QUILL currently associates 17 academics (PIs) and their research groups, based mainly in the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and two Honorary Professors: Prof. Doug MacFarlane and Prof. Paul Davey.
Our research, rooted in ionic liquids, extends to other advanced liquid and amorphous materials, such as deep eutectic solvents, ionogels, liquid coordination complexes and zwitterionic salts. Our research is interdisciplinary, with the focus on addressing the most urgent technological challenges of our times:
Using IL systems to remove contaminants.
Advanced liquids for modern electrolytes in batteries and stationary energy storage.
New chemistries for novel materials, such as dynamic fragrances and antifouling coatings.
Reducing emissions and adding value.
Recovering useful building blocks from waste materials.
From rare earth metals to lithium and cobalt, securing supply of critical elements
Collaboration between QUILL and PETRONAS resulted in the development of a fast and safe commercial technology for removing mercury from natural gas.
Multiple awards won by this new technology include five Institute of Chemical Engineering (IChemE) awards in 2013 and 2014, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s 2014 ‘Teamwork in Innovation Award’, and 2014 Niklin Medal.Mercury Removal
Advanced liquid materials, such as ionic liquids or deep eutectic solvents, have complex structures, which can be precisely engineered to deliver specific sets of properties.
Examples span from battery electrolytes and hydrogen storage media, through superhydrophobic coatings and high-performance lubricants, to solvents for polymers, media for metals separations, and components of emission control systems.
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