Many polluting solvents used by the chemical industry can be replaced by an amazing new mixture of two powders: 'deep-eutectic solvents' (DES). This next generation of solvents are sustainable, much less flammable, not volatile and can draw contaminants from water beyond the capabilities of current solvents.
In the chemical industry a huge quantity of solvents is used for various purposes, such as removing metallic salts from paper or extracting sulfur from petroleum. Worldwide roughly 28 million metric tons are used.
The current generation of solvents have various disadvantages.
Alcohol, for example, is volatile and flammable. Acetone, benzene, hexane and toluene are highly toxic, environmentally damaging and unhealthy. There is much to be gained, therefore, with the development of a new generation of solvents.
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