Toxicity evaluation of selected ionic liquid compounds on embryonic development of Zebrafish.
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Hydrate formation in seafloor pipelines is considered an economic and flow assurance issue for the oil and gas industries. Ionic liquids (ILs) have been recently used as potential hydrate inhibitors. Although branded as green compounds, their ecotoxicity in case of leakage from pipelines onto the aquatic environment needs more deep evaluations. Here, we investigate the impacts of three ILs previously used as successful thermodynamic hydrate inhibitors namely choline chloride (ChC1), 1-methyl-1-propyl pyrrolidinium triflate (PMPy [triflate]) and tetra-methyl ammonium acetate (TMAA). Mortality (including LC50), teratogenicity, locomotion and neurotoxicity, and hatching rate were utilized to investigate any potential acute toxicity of these ILs on embryonic development of zebrafish. No significant mortality or teratogenic effects were found for all tested compounds in a concentration range between 50 and 200 mg/L. The LC50 was significantly higher than the tested dose >200 mg/L. While, up to 200 mg/L all compound had no impact on the survival rate, ChCl showed a significant effect on neuromuscular development as judged by the increase of spontaneous tail coiling activity (25 VS 4 burst/ minutes of the negative control-treated embryos). Further, apart from PMPy [triflate], ChC1 and TMAA had a significant adverse effect on the hatching rate of the treated embryos at concentrations of 200 mg/L. However, this effect was very mild at lower concentrations (≤100 mg/L). Our data indicate that within the tested concentrations both TMAA and PMPy [triflate] had no or little potential harmful effect on embryonic development of aquatic fauna "green", while ChC1 should be used with caution.