AbstractThe use of ionic liquids (ILs) in the field of cellulose chemistry opens up a broad variety of new opportunities. Besides the regeneration of the biopolymer to fibers, films, and beads, this new class of cellulose solvents is particularly useful for the homogeneous chemical modification of the polysaccharide. In this review, the potential of ILs as a reaction medium for the homogeneous cellulose functionalization is discussed. It is shown that numerous conversions proceed very efficiently and the ILs may be recycled. But it is also demonstrated that some side reactions have to be considered.