MilliporeSigma

The future of Solvents: Biorenewable


Sustainability is a topic that continues to become more relevant to our daily lives. This also affects chemical research – certain solvents are still essential for scientific work, but the future of solvents is BioRenewable.

We've invested in promising research to find optimal, safer alternatives to ensure your research remains reliable with a smaller impact on the environment. Our Greener Alternatives provide less hazardous and more environmentally friendly alternatives for many common solvents that are of most concern, such as NMP, DMF and ethers.

Explore our entire range of greener alternative solvents.

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.

Since it was first introduced in a paper in 2014, Cyrene™ has quickly become one of the most innovative solvents on the market. It has been demonstrated to work in many reactions that have traditionally relied on NMP and DMF with minor modification to the standard procedures, such as urea synthesis, amide coupling and Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling, with great success. However, Cyrene™ has moved beyond just chemical synthesis, and now is being studied for membrane preparation and graphene printing, also with promising results.

Research and production applications for Cyrene™ are increasing rapidly, showing hope for a brighter, greener future in science.

Next Generation of Solvents

The future of solvents needs to be safe, environmentally conscious, and preserve natural resources. They must also meet the standards and reliance that high quality research and production demands.

Why the Switch?

By using solvents made from renewable, and non-food-based sources we decrease the reliance on petroleum and oil-based products which are a limited resource that contribute to increased greenhouse gases.

The safety of solvents has long been of concern for many in research and production, many solvents are reproductive toxins, and are carcinogenic. With the next generation solvents, designing for safety is a top priority, decreasing the risks of exposure to carcinogens and other health hazards.

BioRenewable Solvents
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Greener Chromatography Solvents
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Greener Substitutes
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