A new ionic liquid (2-hydroxyethylammonium formate), with extremely low melting temperature (-82 degreesC), is presented. This ionic liquid of equimolar mixture of formic acid and 2-hydroxyethylamine shows reasonably high at ionic conductivity (3.3 mS cm(-1)) room temperature and heat stability up to 150 degreesC. Both H-1-NMR and FT-IR spectra establish its simple salt structure. Due to its high polarity, the ionic liquid is able to dissolve many inorganic salts. Also some insoluble polymers such as polyaniline and polypyrrole are highly soluble in the ionic liquid. In the study, the physical characteristics of the ionic liquid, such as conductivity, viscosity and solvation abilities have been investigated. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.