Design and evaluation of switchable-hydrophilicity solvents†
Switchable-hydrophilicity solvents (SHSs) are solvents that can switch reversibly between one form that is miscible with water to another that forms a biphasic mixture with water. For these SHSs, we use CO2 at 1 bar as a stimulus for triggering the transformation to the water-miscible form and removal of CO2 to achieve the reverse. We now report the identification of 13 new SHSs, including the first secondary amine SHSs, and a comparison of all known SHSs in terms of safety and environmental impacts. Amines which include another functional group, especially oxygen-containing groups, are less hazardous than alkylamines. Secondary amines can have improved switching speeds relative to tertiary amines. The variety of SHSs identified suggests that amine SHSs can be designed to have ideal properties for a given application.