What Are Green Solvents?
As environmental health and conservation become an important issue for people, the demand for ecologically conscious products increases. Some traditional solvents can have undesirable effects on the environment and as a result, green solvents are quickly rising in popularity as an eco-friendly alternative. Green solvents are the product of green chemistry. Green chemistry states that, among other things, not even the production of green solvents should harm the environment. There is a focus on solvent recyclability using ecologically effective methods and biodegradability under normal conditions.
What Are Green Solvents
Green solvents, sometimes called Biosolvents, are eco-conscious solvents that are derived from plant matter. Green solvents work to replace petrochemical solvents like propylene, butadiene, benzene, toluene, and methanol. While petroleum solvents have low levels of toxicity when compared to other solvents, they can still cause negative health effects in people if inhaled in large quantities or if there is long-term exposure.
Examples of Green Solvents
Ionic Liquids (ILs) are an example of green solvents. They are desirable due to their low vapor pressure, versatility, and their lack of flammability. Ionic Liquids are recognized as “designer solvents” while also being eco-conscious. Their downside is that they are not easily biodegradable.
Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs) are green solvents that are similar to ILs. Both solvent types are viscous, have low volatility, aren’t inflammable, and are thermally stable. Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents, which are a subset of DESs, have the added benefit of being biodegradable, which makes them ideal for use in the cosmetic and food industry.
Bio-based Solvents are green solvents in various categories they can fall into esters, terpenes, ethers, and alcohols. They come from a number of biological sources. One of these green solvents is ethyl lactate. Ethyl lactate comes from corn and is environmentally neutral, monetarily economical, and has an effectiveness similar to petrochemical solvents. Another bio-based green solvent’s production, 2-methyltetrahydrofuran’s (2-MeTHF), involves furfuran, which is derived from corn stalks, corn cobs, and the husks of oats and peanuts.
Green Solvent Usages
When it comes to green solvents, the applications are numerous. Green solvents aim to replace petroleum solvents that are used widely in many industries like the cosmetic, perfumery, food, and pharmaceutical industries. Green solvents can be used to extract colors from raw material, or fats and oils. Some solvents are used to extract scents and antioxidants. DESs in particular have used extracting proteins, volatile compounds, flavonoids, and sugars.
Thinking of Going Green?
If you’re looking to lessen your environmental impact when using solvents, Extraction Grade Solvents can help! Extraction Grade Solvents has a wide selection of green solvents available for purchase. To learn more about green solvent opportunities and how you can make them work for you contact us here for more information!