The Future of Solvents: BioRenewable


The future of solvents needs to be safe, environmentally conscious, and preserve natural resources. It must also meet the standards and reliance required for high-quality chemical research and production.

We've made considerable investments to develop optimal, safer alternatives to ensure that your research remains reliable, but becomes significantly more sustainable. Our next-generation solvents come in two categories, BioRenewable and Greener Substitutes, and include many alternatives that combine greater safety with a lower carbon impact, like our innovative Cyrene™ solvent.

The journey to find ecologically sound and safe solvents that perform equal to the current solvent options has led us to Cyrene™ (dihydrolevoglucosenone), a dipolar aprotic bicyclic chiral compound that is a potential replacement for dimethylformamide (DMF) and N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP).

Made from wood byproducts like twigs or sawdust, it is 98-100% completely renewable, with a carbon footprint approaching zero. Beyond its production impact, Cyrene™ is readily degradable in natural exposure conditions, decomposing 99% to carbon dioxide and water within 14 days, however under normal lab conditions, it will remain shelf stable. Cyrene™ was also designed for safety, showing no concerns as a reproductive hazard or mutagen, which is often the cited concern for DMF and NMP, making it safer to handle.


BioRenewable

BioRenewable solvents are sourced from renewable, sustainable biobased materials, significantly lowering their environmental impact. We verify that products are >50% biobased through either carbon testing the products, or tracing the biobased content at all steps of manufacturing.

Drop-in Replacements

These classic solvents are free of the many by-products of petroleum manufacturing, such as benzene, aldehydes, and ethers. They are also tested for renewable, biobased carbon (ASTM Standard D6866-16).

  • Acetone: drop-in greener replacement for petroleum-based acetone
  • 1-Butanol: drop-in greener replacement for petroleum-based 1-butanol
  • 2-Propanol: drop-in greener replacement for petroleum-based 2- Propanol
  • Glycerol: drop-in greener replacement for petroleum-based glycerol

BioRenewable Greener Substitutes

These BioRenewable solvents are not drop-in replacements, but are greener substitutes for more hazardous petroleum-based chemicals

  • Cyrene™: novel dipolar aprotic solvent substitute for NMP and DMF
  • Cyrene™ 2-MeTHF blend: blended solvent with reduced viscosity; greener substitute for NMP and DMF
  • Cyrene™ GVL blend: blended solvent with reduced viscosity; greener substitute for NMP and DMF
  • Dimethyl isosorbide (DMI): greener substitute for NMP or DMF
  • γ-Valerolactone (GVL): greener substitute for NMP or DMF
  • 2-Methyltetrahydrofuran: greener substitute for THF and DCM
  • Ethyl(-)-L-lactate: safer, more sustainable alternative to ethyl acetate and acetone

Other Greener Substitutes

These well-known solvents are replacements for more traditional solvents that have health or environmental concerns. They provide energy and cost savings in many ways, such as: cleaner solvent-water separations; less wastewater; easier distillation for solvent recovery; faster reaction times by allowing for higher temperatures due to a higher boiling point and lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

  • Cyclopentyl methyl ether (CPME): greener substitute for THF and DCM
  • Heptane: greener substitute for hexane
  • Dimethyl carbonate: greener substitute for methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) and parachlorobenzotrifluoride

Greener Chromatography Solvents

These alternative solvents replace more hazardous and environmentally damaging solvents that are commonly used in chromatography. Chromatography is one of the most prevalent uses of solvents in the lab, and can be a major contributor to solvent waste.

  • Ethyl acetate/ethanol mixture: green substitute for DCM in flash chromatography purification, TLC and HPLC
  • Heptane: lower VOC alternative compared to the more traditional solvent hexane

BioRenewable Solvents
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Other Greener Substitutes
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Greener Chromatography Solvents
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