What Are Green Solvents?

What Are Green Solvents?

Green solvents are derived from the processing of crops. They are also known as environmentally friendly biosolvents. What are green solvents’ properties that differ from those of their non-green solvent competition?

  • More eco-friendly
  • Less toxic
  • Less hazardous than traditional volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Types of Green Solvents

“What are green solvents and how many types are there?”

There are 5 main types of green solvents. They range from supercritical fluids to ionic liquids to polyethylene glycol.

  1. Supercritical Fluids – A supercritical fluid is a compound that exists above its critical pressure and critical temperature. The chemical and physical properties of supercritical fluids are between those of a liquid and gas phase.
  2. Water – Water is a green solvent because it has a high specific heat capacity, is easily available, and is non-toxic. It is great for most organic reactions.
  3. Ionic Liquids – An ionic liquid is a salt whose melting point is below a determined temperature, also known as a molten salt. Ionic liquids have at least one delocalized charge and one component is organic, preventing the formation of a crystal substance.
  4. Fluorous Biphasic Solvent – Also know as fluorinated hydrocarbon solvents, fluorous biphasic solvents are immiscible with organic solvents at standard conditions. They are used when the reactants and catalysts required for a reaction are soluble in the fluorous phase under the reaction conditions, but the products are not soluble and thus would separate into a different phase during the reaction.
  5. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) – Since it is a green and inexpensive solvent, it can be used in various chemical syntheses. PEG has a low toxicity compared to similar solvents and gives a pure yield.

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