American Chemical Society
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Looking at the “Water-in-Deep-Eutectic-Solvent” System: A Dilution Range for High Performance Eutectics

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-10-17, 21:29 authored by Nieves López-Salas, José Manuel Vicent-Luna, Silvia Imberti, Elena Posada, María Jesús Roldán, Juan A. Anta, Salvador R. G. Balestra, Rafael M. Madero Castro, Sofia Calero, Rafael J. Jiménez-Riobóo, María Concepción Gutiérrez, María Luisa Ferrer, Francisco del Monte
Deep eutectic solvents (DESs) are lately expanding their use to more demanding applications upon aqueous dilution thanks to the preservation of the most appealing properties of the original DESs while overcoming some of their most important drawbacks limiting their performance, like viscosity. Both experimental and theoretical works have studied this dilution regime, the so-called “water-in-DES” system, at near-to stoichiometric amounts to the original DES. Herein, we rather studied the high-dilution range of the “water-in-DES” system looking for enhanced performance because of the interesting properties (a further drop of viscosity) and cost (water is cheap) that it offers. In particular, we found that, in the “water-in-DES” system of a ternary DES composed of resorcinol, urea and choline chloride (e.g., RUChClnW, where n represents mol of water per mole of ternary DES), the tetrahedral structure of water was distorted as a consequence of its incorporation, as an additional hydrogen bond donor or hydrogen bond acceptor, into the hydrogen bond complexes formed among the original DES components . DSC confirmed the formation of a new eutectic, with a melting point below that of its respective components, the original ternary DES and water. This depression in the melting point was also observed in the same regime of reline and malicine aqueous dilutions, thus suggesting the universality of this simple procedure (i.e., water addition to reach the high-dilution range of the “water-in-DES” system) to obtain deeper eutectics eventually providing enhanced performances and lower cost.