Room Temperature Ionic Liquids (RTILs) have recently been introduced as new solvents in the chemical and biotechnological arenas. Carbohydrates are important natural products that play important biological and commercial roles as foods, drugs and chemical feedstocks. They have two properties that complicate their use a low solubility in most solvents and complex, highly chiral structures. We are currently witnessing a rapid increase in novel applications for newly discovered RTILs. This account reviews the application of RTILs in carbohydrate chemistry and biochemistry as a mono / biphasic solvent, a solvent / catalyst and a product retrieval media.
Keywords: carbohydrates, room temperature ionic liquids, green chemistry, catalysis
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