Evaluation of ionic liquids as replacements for the solid piston in conventional hydrogen reciprocating compressors: A review

Nasrin Arjomand Kermani*, Irina Petrushina, Marvin M. Rokni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review


Substituting the solid piston of conventional reciprocating compressors used for the compression of hydrogen with a suitable ionic liquid will solve many practical problems and limitations that conventional reciprocating compressors face. However, because of the large number of cation and anion combinations and many studies on the unique properties of ionic liquids and the role of ionic liquid cations and anions in determining these properties, a systematic review is required to narrow down the choice of ionic liquids. Therefore, in the present review, a comprehensive study to find the most appropriate ionic liquid candidate to replace the solid piston in reciprocating compressors for compressing hydrogen is reported. Specific criteria concerning the applications of ionic liquids are determined and the roles of the cations and anions, as well as the effect of temperature, are extensively reviewed to identify the most suitable ionic liquid that can fulfill the requirements. As a next step, the options are narrowed down to five ionic liquids with the triflate and bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide as the anion choices and three different cation types, imidazolium-, phosphonium-, and ammonium-based, as the cation choices. Finally, the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide is recommended as the best candidate that can be safely used as a replacement for the solid piston in reciprocating compressors for compressing hydrogen in hydrogen stations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Hydrogen
  • Ionic liquids
  • Liquid piston
  • Reciprocating compressor
  • Review
  • Thermophysical properties

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