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Environmental performance of 3D-printing polymerisable ionic liquids

Maciel, Vin�cius Gon�alves; Wales, Dominic J.; Seferin, Marcus; Sans, Victor


Vin�cius Gon�alves Maciel

Dominic J. Wales

Marcus Seferin

Victor Sans


This work presents a “cradle-to-gate” Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of 3D-printing polymerisable ionic liquids (PILs) using digital light projection (DLP). It is based on primary data from environmental emissions, wastewater, chemical components, and manufacturing of PIL based devices. The results indicate that the printing process does not significantly exacerbate the environmental impacts. However, it is shown that excellent opportunities for further mitigation of the life cycle impacts of PILs can be realised are by practising reagent recovery, which reduces the amount of reagents emitted as waste, and by reduction/recycling of solvents used for cleaning the 3D part. The major impact contributor in the 3D-printing of PILs is the synthesis of the IL monomers. The effective reduction of solvent consumption and recovery significantly improves the impact of the synthetic process. This work focuses on the employment of the 3-butyl-1-vinylimidazolium [BVim] cation, with the non-coordinating and hydrophobic bis(trifluoromethane)sulfonimide [NTf2]- anion as the counter anion. The polymerisable monomer IL has comparable impact compared to the analogous non-polymerisable 3-butyl-1-methylimidazolium [NTf2]- ionic liquid, thus potentially allowing for the more efficient use of the ionic liquid properties by immobilization in solid phases. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that switching the anion from [NTf2]- to dicyanamide [N(CN2)]- significantly decreases the impacts in all categories evaluated for PIL production. This work represents the first phase toward quantitative LCA data generation for the process of 3D-printing ionic liquids, which will be great support for decision making during design of PIL 3D-printing processes at a laboratory scale.


Maciel, V. G., Wales, D. J., Seferin, M., & Sans, V. (2019). Environmental performance of 3D-printing polymerisable ionic liquids. Journal of Cleaner Production, 214, 29-40.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 23, 2018
Online Publication Date Dec 28, 2018
Publication Date Mar 20, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 9, 2019
Publicly Available Date Dec 29, 2019
Journal Journal of Cleaner Production
Print ISSN 0959-6526
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 214
Pages 29-40
Keywords Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment; Strategy and Management; Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering; General Environmental Science
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information 12 mo. embargo. Ol 10.01.2019


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