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Title: Ionic Liquids with Ammonium Cations as Lubricants or Additives

Abstract

Friction and wear are estimated to cost 6% of the US gross national product, or around $700 billion annually. A new class of more effective lubricants could lead to huge energy savings. Limited recent literature has suggested potential for using room-temperature ionic liquids as lubricants, however only a few out of millions (or more) of species have been evaluated. Recent ORNL work discovered a new category of ionic liquids with ammonium cations that have demonstrated promising lubricating properties as net lubricants or lubricant additives, particularly in lubricating difficult-to-lubricate metals like aluminum. More than 30% friction reduction has been observed on ammonium-based ionic liquids compared to conventional hydrocarbon oils. The inherent polarity of ionic liquids is believed to provide strong adhesion to contact surfaces and form a boundary lubricating film leading to friction and wear reductions. Other advantages of ionic liquids include (1) negligible volatility, (2) high thermal stability, (3) non-flammability, and (4) better intrinsic properties that eliminate the necessity of many expensive lubricant additives. With very flexible molecular structures, this new class of lubricants, particularly ammonium-based ionic liquids, can be tailored to fit a big variety of applications including but not limited to bearings, combustion engines, MEMS, and metal forming.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program
OSTI Identifier:
1003502
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Tribology Letters; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 3
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; ADDITIVES; ADHESION; ALUMINIUM; BEARINGS; CATIONS; COMBUSTION; ENGINES; FRICTION; GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT; HYDROCARBONS; LUBRICANTS; LUBRICATION; MOLECULAR STRUCTURE; ORNL; STABILITY; VOLATILITY

Citation Formats

Qu, Jun, Blau, Peter Julian, Dai, Sheng, Luo, Huimin, and Truhan, Jr., John J. Ionic Liquids with Ammonium Cations as Lubricants or Additives. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1007/s11249-006-9081-0.
Qu, Jun, Blau, Peter Julian, Dai, Sheng, Luo, Huimin, & Truhan, Jr., John J. Ionic Liquids with Ammonium Cations as Lubricants or Additives. United States. doi:10.1007/s11249-006-9081-0.
Qu, Jun, Blau, Peter Julian, Dai, Sheng, Luo, Huimin, and Truhan, Jr., John J. Sun . "Ionic Liquids with Ammonium Cations as Lubricants or Additives". United States. doi:10.1007/s11249-006-9081-0.
@article{osti_1003502,
title = {Ionic Liquids with Ammonium Cations as Lubricants or Additives},
author = {Qu, Jun and Blau, Peter Julian and Dai, Sheng and Luo, Huimin and Truhan, Jr., John J},
abstractNote = {Friction and wear are estimated to cost 6% of the US gross national product, or around $700 billion annually. A new class of more effective lubricants could lead to huge energy savings. Limited recent literature has suggested potential for using room-temperature ionic liquids as lubricants, however only a few out of millions (or more) of species have been evaluated. Recent ORNL work discovered a new category of ionic liquids with ammonium cations that have demonstrated promising lubricating properties as net lubricants or lubricant additives, particularly in lubricating difficult-to-lubricate metals like aluminum. More than 30% friction reduction has been observed on ammonium-based ionic liquids compared to conventional hydrocarbon oils. The inherent polarity of ionic liquids is believed to provide strong adhesion to contact surfaces and form a boundary lubricating film leading to friction and wear reductions. Other advantages of ionic liquids include (1) negligible volatility, (2) high thermal stability, (3) non-flammability, and (4) better intrinsic properties that eliminate the necessity of many expensive lubricant additives. With very flexible molecular structures, this new class of lubricants, particularly ammonium-based ionic liquids, can be tailored to fit a big variety of applications including but not limited to bearings, combustion engines, MEMS, and metal forming.},
doi = {10.1007/s11249-006-9081-0},
journal = {Tribology Letters},
number = 3,
volume = 22,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}
  • A lubricant or lubricant additive is an ionic liquid alkylammonium salt. The alkylammonium salt has the structure R.sub.xNH.sub.(4-x).sup.+,[F.sub.3C(CF.sub.2).sub.yS(O).sub.2].sub.2N.sup- .- where x is 1 to 3, R is independently C.sub.1 to C.sub.12 straight chain alkyl, branched chain alkyl, cycloalkyl, alkyl substituted cycloalkyl, cycloalkyl substituted alkyl, or, optionally, when x is greater than 1, two R groups comprise a cyclic structure including the nitrogen atom and 4 to 12 carbon atoms, and y is independently 0 to 11. The lubricant is effective for the lubrication of many surfaces including aluminum and ceramics surfaces.
  • The lubricating properties of two ionic liquids with the same anion but different cations, one ammonium IL [C8H17]3NH.Tf2N and one imidazolium IL C10mim.Tf2N, were evaluated both in neat form and as oil additives. Experiments were conducted using a standardized reciprocating sliding test using a segment of a Cr-plated diesel engine piston ring against a grey cast iron flat specimen with simulated honing marks as on the engine cylinder liner. The selected ionic liquids were benchmarked against conventional hydrocarbon oils. Substantial friction and wear reductions, up to 55% and 34%, respectively, were achieved for the neat ionic liquids compared to amore » fully-formulated 15W40 engine oil. Adding 5 vol% ILs into mineral oil has demonstrated significant improvement in the lubricity. One blend even outperformed the 15W40 engine oil with 9% lower friction and 34% less wear. Lubrication regime modeling, worn surface morphology examination, and surface chemical analysis were conducted to help understand the lubricating mechanisms for ionic liquids. Results suggest great potential for using ionic liquids as base lubricants or lubricant additives for diesel engine applications.« less
  • Oil-soluble phosphonium-based ionic liquids (ILs) have recently been reported as potential ashless lubricant additives. This study is to expand the IL chemistry envelope and to achieve fundamental correlations between the ion structures and ILs’ physiochemical and tribological properties. Here we present eight ILs containing two different phosphonium cations and seven different anions from three groups: organophosphate, carboxylate, and sulfonate. The oil solubility of ILs seems largely governed by the IL molecule size and structure complexity. When used as oil additives, the ranking of effectiveness in wear protection for the anions are: organophosphate > carboxylate > sulfonate. All selected ILs outperformedmore » a commercial ashless anti-wear additive. Surface characterization from the top and the cross-section revealed the nanostructures and compositions of the tribo-films formed by the ILs. Some fundamental insights were achieved: branched and long alkyls improve the IL’s oil solubility, anions of a phosphonium-phosphate IL contribute most phosphorus in the tribofilm, and carboxylate anions, though free of P, S, N, or halogen, can promote the formation of an anti-wear tribofilm.« less
  • In this work we investigated the feasibility of five quaternary (aprotic) and four tertiary (protic) ammonium ionic liquids (ILs) with an identical organophosphate anion as lubricant antiwear additives. Viscosity, oil solubility, thermal stability, and corrosivity of the candidate ILs were characterized and correlated to the molecular structure. The protic group exhibits higher oil solubility than the aprotic group, and longer alkyl chains seem to provide better oil solubility and higher thermal stability. Selected ILs were applied as oil additives in steel-cast iron tribological tests and demonstrated promising anti-scuffing and anti-wear functionality. The thickness, nanostructure, coverage and composition of the tribofilmmore » formed by the besting performing IL were revealed by surface characterization for mechanistic understanding of the tribochemical interactions between the IL and metal surface. Results provide fundamental insights of the correlations among the molecular structure, physiochemical properties and lubricating performance for ammonium-phosphate ILs.« less