Coupling reactions and separations in propane-organic-aqueous tunable solvent systems
Husain, Zainul Abideen
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Developing environmentally sustainable processes are essential to improving the quality of life for future generations. In addition to reducing our impact on the environment, we must design processes to be both economical and safe. A large component of any chemical process is the solvents used to dissolve the reactants and extract the products. The research presented here focuses on coupling efficient homogeneous reactions with simple heterogeneous separations using propane-organic-aqueous tunable solvent systems. Our tunable solvents undergo a phase separation upon application of propane pressure to a fully miscible mixture of water and an organic solvent. The propane based tunable systems detailed here eliminate carbonic acid formation and reduce productphase contamination when compared with the equivalent CO2 based solvent systems previously studied. Additionally, we eliminate the need to use buffers and thus solids handling equipment is not needed.