Ionic liquids (ILs) have been extensively assessed in biotransformations with different purposes, for example, non-conventional (co-)solvents, performance additives, coating agents for immobilizing/stabilizing enzymes, and IL-membrane-based processes. Fuelled by their premature labelling as 'green solvents', academic research has flourished. However, in recent years environmental aspects related to ILs have been strongly addressed, stating that many ILs commonly used cannot be regarded as 'green derivatives'. Likewise, ILs costs are still a barrier for practical uses. Attempting to combine sustainability with the promising added-values of ILs, the third generation of ILs is currently under development. Likewise, deep-eutectic-solvents (DESs) appear in the horizon as an attractive and cost-effective option for using ionic solvents in biotransformations. DESs are often produced by gently warming and stirring two (bio-based and cheap) salts (e.g. choline chloride and urea). First successful uses of DES in biotransformations were reported recently. It may be expected that knowledge accumulated in (second generation) ILs and biotransformations could be turned into real applications by using these DESs, and third generation ILs, in the coming years. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.