In this work, osmium-catalyzed asymmetric dihydroxylation (AD) of methyl trans-cinnamate was studied. Osmium and chiral ligand catalysts were immobilized in ionic liquid only, without any other reaction solvents, while the recovery of the product was performed by extraction with supercritical CO(2) and compared with results obtained by extractions with organic solvents such as hexane and diethyl ether. In supercritical CO(2) extraction experiments, optimal extraction pressure was found and ionic liquid chosen, so that the highest reaction yields coupled with lowest osmium content in the crude product can be achieved. Finally, recycle experiments of the same (ionic liquid + catalytic system) mixture were successfully conducted. Application of ionic liquids and supercritical CO(2) in osmium catalyzed AD allows for the isolation of the diol basically without contamination with osmium, in high yield and enantiomeric excess, and it makes possible the efficient reuse of ionic liquid solvent and the catalytic system. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.