Summary: From Slags to Molten Salts to Ionic Liquids: a 50 year joyride.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry,
Arizona State University,
Tempe AZ85287-1604, USA
In the 1950's the literature on liquid silicates was mostly
concerned with their function as scavengers for unwanted
components in the metals extraction process. The slags were
described as collections of oxide molecules. Then John Bockris, at
Imperial College of Science, London, entered the scene to end this
nonsense, and introduced the term "ionic liquids" for the first time.
My M.Sc. Advisor in Chemical Metallurgy at Melbourne
University, Mervyn Willis, told me this was the way to go, so I
dropped the PbO-FeO-Fe2O3 -SiO2 4D phase diagram project I had
been working on and joined Bockris' group (now at Penn) in 1956.
That started a long journey through liquid silicates, molten salts,
concentrated aqueous and non-aqueous solutions and back to ionic
liquids, touching many personalities and countries, about which I
would like to tell something. We take this opportunity to bring
together in the same document, two fundamental energy level