Solvents are usually liquid compounds which, because of their chemical and physical properties, can dissolve solid, liquid or gaseous substances. In the laboratory area and research, solvents are used, while in the chemical industry the term solvent has prevailed. In the interaction of solvents with the solute, no chemical reactions occur among each other. The solvents only act as liquid media for various substances. Here, however, they enable, inter alia, chemical reactions and reactions of dissolved compounds. Many reactions are possible only in solution. However, the solvents do not participate in these reactions and thus remain unchanged. In addition, some drugs can only be effective in the dissolved state. The best known solvent is water. All biochemical reactions take place in the medium of water.
However, solvents also play a major role in the chemical industry in support of chemical processes, in the household, especially in detergents, and in many other areas of the national economy. In these areas, especially organic solvents are used. One known solvent is, inter alia, acetone. In many areas of the chemical industry, it serves as the starting material for a variety of chemical reactions. In smaller quantities it is also used as a solvent for fats, oils, resins and some other substances.
What are green solvents?
For green solvents too, it applies first of all that they can dissolve liquid, solid and gaseous substances. However, their properties, their production and their application are consistent with the concept of green chemistry. As already mentioned, Green Chemistry is based on the twelve principles of Green Chemistry by Anastas and Warner. These twelve principles of green chemistry relate to both the manufacturing process and the properties of chemical compounds. A basic principle is that safe solvents should be used in chemical processes. Safe means, among other things, safe and non-toxic. Furthermore, the basic principles also stipulate that the use of renewable raw materials is increasingly required. As starting materials must therefore serve for the production of green solvents or green solvents renewable resources. For this reason, green solvents or green solvents are always environmentally friendly and biodegradable. In the production of green solvents or green solvents, increased attention is paid to making the production process more and more effective, for example by using specifically reusable catalysts.
In summary, the following properties apply to green solvents:
The green solvents are bio-based solvents. That means they are made from renewable raw materials.
For this reason, green solvents are biodegradable solvents and environmentally friendly solvents.
Furthermore, some green solvents are label-free solvents.
The green solvent manufacturing process is very effective and requires little energy.
Applications for green solvents
Green solvents are versatile. Wherever organic solvents are used, their replacement by green solvents is also possible. As already mentioned, acetone is a widely used and particularly powerful solvent. Certain green solvents can also be used to replace acetone if they are capable of dissolving fats, oils, resins, cellulose acetate or rosin.