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Ionic Liquids

Chemistry In Pictures

Chemistry in Pictures: Papa’s got a brand new solvent

by Craig Bettenhausen
August 6, 2020

An orange liquid floats on a colorless liquid in a vial.
Credit: Submitted by Dannie van Osch

This is one of the first photos of a new class of solvent, hydrophobic deep eutectic solvents (DESs). The DES is the orange phase, sitting on top of water, the transparent phase. Deep eutectic solvents form when two solids, upon mixing, result in a liquid. The change in phase is caused by intermolecular interactions. Because DESs are so new to rigorous research, that explanation is probably an oversimplification. Postdoc Dannie van Osch says he took the photo shortly after publishing a paper proving that hydrophobic versions of these solvents even exist. “Before, only hydrophilic DESs were reported, and thus it changed the field of DESs completely.” Osch says DESs could find use in liquid-liquid extractions, hydrogels, catalysis, and a host of other applications.

Read more about hydrophobic DESs here: (ACS Sus. Chem. Eng. 2020, DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.0c00559).

Submitted by Dannie van Osch

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