This was a short LO developed to give the students some context for ionic liquids in use. Since this paper is from a chemical engineering perspective, it supported a goal of having the students think about chemistry outside of the typical inorganic journal/research boundaries. This LO was implemented after a discussion of HSAB/ECW, frustrated Lewis pairs, non-aqueous media, and superacids. No explicit discussion of catalysis prior to this class discussion.
Students should be able to:
- identify the motivation for using biomass as a catalytic feedstock
- describe the phase behavior of an ionic liquid that makes is suited to this catalytic application
- draw a Lewis representation from a condensed formula for an ionic liquid
- prepare a reaction scheme from a written experimental procedure
- read a paper to determine which experiments support a claim by the author
Students found this paper interesting, but they were a little thrown by the more engineering/applied aspects of this paper. We discussed the validity of a reaction not having one specific set of conditions, but rather a range of times, temperatures, and yields that were all related. There was general agreement that the lack of a reaction scheme for the catalytic reaction would not fly in our course!
Evaluated as participation, with credit for completion and separately for participation in the group discussion.
ChemDraws were not great - I will need to spend more time editing and returning these if I wanted it to look better. The response looked more like a group of individual answers assembled, rather than a cohesive answer that was discussed before submission. I would like to encourage better discussion instead of the students dividing tasks between themselves.
Lots of challenges figuring out which details from the experimental section were important enough to include in the scheme. This prompted a good discussion about how to evaluate an experimental section and the utility of a scheme!