Designing switchable solvents for sustainable process development
Hart, Ryan J.
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Novel solvents utilizing a reversible CO₂ induced property switch are presented. The synthetic procedure for designing the solvents is discussed, along with detailed characterizations on both solvent forms to serve as a tool for optimal solvent identification as well as future solvent design. A reflectance infrared spectroscopic technique is introduced to allow for the examination of CO₂ and solvent composition under high pressures and temperatures. The magnitude of solvent property changes afforded by this "switch" creates opportunities for sustainable processing; discussed are the application to coupling reactions and separations, and CO₂ capture. The switchable solvents are shown to serve as effective media for running reactions, with the switch providing facile recovery of products and catalysts for solvent recycling. Lastly, the switch itself is exploited to provide for the separation of CO₂ from low partial pressure feed streams, and structure-property relationships were successfully used to develop next generation materials with enhanced absorption capacities. The viscosity of the solvents, as a function of temperature and composition, is also presented.