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Are ionic liquids solvents or surfactants or both?  Which may be a better application?

Question asked by Stanley Seelig on Nov 1, 2012

Ionic liquids have been mostly viewed as green solvents according to millions of literature references.  But when used in small quantities (less than 1 wt%), they behave as surfactants.  Considering the expense of manufacture, ionic liquids can get a much broader use as a surfactant additive that would perform better than other surfactants.  This was the idea when I first worked with ionic liquids in the 1980's as a specialty additive for a solvent cleaning and drying application.  Any comments?