Deep eutectic solvents: syntheses, properties and applications
Within the framework of green chemistry, solvents occupy a strategic place. To be qualified as a green medium, these solvents have to meet different criteria such as availability, non-toxicity, biodegradability, recyclability, flammability, and low price among others. Up to now, the number of available green solvents are rather limited. Here we wish to discuss a new family of ionic fluids, so-called Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES), that are now rapidly emerging in the current literature. A DES is a fluid generally composed of two or three cheap and safe components that are capable of self-association, often through hydrogen bond interactions, to form a eutectic mixture with a melting point lower than that of each individual component. DESs are generally liquid at temperatures lower than 100 °C. These DESs exhibit similar physico-chemical properties to the traditionally used ionic liquids, while being much cheaper and environmentally friendlier. Owing to these remarkable advantages, DESs are now of growing interest in many fields of research. In this review, we report the major contributions of DESs in catalysis, organic synthesis, dissolution and extraction processes, electrochemistry and material chemistry. All works discussed in this review aim at demonstrating that DESs not only allow the design of eco-efficient processes but also open a straightforward access to new chemicals and materials.