We report here the first systematic study of the effect of impurities and additives (e.g., water, chloride, and cosolvents) on the physical properties of room-temperature ionic liquids. Remarkably, it was discovered that the viscosity of mixtures was dependent mainly on the mole fraction of added molecular solvents and only to a lesser extent upon their identity, allowing viscosity changes during the course of a reaction to be entirely predictable. While the addition of such molecular solvents decreases the viscosity and density, chloride impurities, arising from the preparation of the ionic liquids, increase viscosity dramatically. The commonly used methods of preparation were validated with respect to chloride impurity.
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