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Isabel M. Marrucho Lab


The Separation and Extraction Technologies group uses engineering tools to develop sustainable chemicals, materials and processes. Research ranges from fundamental studies on phase equilibria and thermodynamics to applications in separation and extraction processes.    



Isabel M. Marrucho
Associated Professor
PhD in 1997, IST/Colorado School of Mines

Phone (+351) 214469724
Extension 1724



Research Interests


Sustainability is the new transversal trend in many disciplines and the key to some of the most interesting 21st century challenges such as benign solvents and smart materials, new efficient energy sources, water and air decontamination, development of sophisticated analytical tools for medical diagnose and individual protection, to name a few.

The central academic aim of our research is to understand and develop new solvents and solvency processes and to establish their influence in the development of new sustainable products and processes. We traditionally use experimental techniques to search for effects on liquid structure, neighborhoods and specific interactions. Currently, we are very much interested the blooming field of ionic liquids, deep eutectic solvents and polymeric ionic liquids, as smart materials that can be tailored and fine-tuned to display a multiplicity of behaviors according to the final application. In particular, we have addressed azeotrope breaking, diesel deep desulfurization and extraction of micro-pollutants from water environments using liquid-liquid extractions with task specific ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents.  

Another major interest of our group is the use of polymeric ionic liquids. We have been taking advantage of our knowledge of ionic liquids, namely tunable solvency, to design advanced materials that display simultaneously ionic liquids appealing thermophysical properties and polymer mechanical properties. Several of separation technologies, namely highly efficient membranes for gas separation, materials for chromatography and phase splitting promoters, have been tested grounded on ability to tailor the polymeric ionic liquids properties.



Group Members

  • Liliana Tomé, Post –doc Fellow
  • David Patinha, PhD Student
  • Catarina Florindo, PhD Student
  • Mateusz Marchel, PhD Student


Selected Publications

  1. L.C. Tomé and I.M. Marrucho, Ionic Liquid-based Materials: a platform to design engineered CO2 separation membranes, Chem. Soc. Rev. 45, 2785-2824, 2016.

  2. H.F.D. Almeida, M.G. Freire and I.M. Marrucho*, Improved extraction of fluoroquinolones with recyclable ionic-liquid-based aqueous biphasic systems, Green Chem. 18, 2717-2725, 2016.

  3. C. Florindo, F.S. Oliveira, L.P.N. Rebelo, A.M. Fernandes, I.M. Marrucho*, Insights into the synthesis and properties of deep eutectic solvents based on choline chloride and carboxylic acids, ACS Sus. Chem. & Eng. 2, 2416–2425, 2014.


Laboratory's Website

For further information please visit the laboratory's website.

Tecnologias de Separação e Extracção (PT)

A Química Verde tem sido definida como o desenvolvimento de produtos e processos químicos que reduzam ou eliminem a utilização e geração de substancias perigosas. Por outro lado, os engenheiros sentiram necessiade de definir Engenharia Verde como o desenvolvimento de processos industriais economicamente viáveis, e que reduzam o risco para a saúde humana e para o ambiente. Actualmente, o conceito de sustentabilidade é a nova tendência transversal a muitas disciplinas e a chave para alguns dos desafios mais interessantes do século 21, tais como solventes benignos e materiais inteligentes, novas fontes eficientes de energia, descontaminação do ar e da água, desenvolvimento de ferramentas analíticas sofisticadas para diagnóstico médico e proteção individual. A nossa investigação é foca-se no desenvolvimento de tecnologias sustentáveis e eficientes tendo por base a utilização de líquidos iónicos, solventes eutéticos e polímeros de liquidos iónicos, procurando inovar quer em áreas tradicionais quer em áreas de ponta.


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