School of Physical and Chemical Sciences - Te Kura Matū Seminar Series

CO¬2-Switchable Solvents for Facilitated Separations


Philip G. Jessop


Department of Chemistry, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada.

Time & Place

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:00:00 NZDT in Rutherford Room 531

All are welcome


Facile separation of product from solvent and/or catalyst is a crucial requirement for efficient and green chemical processes. Whether the process is a complex synthesis or a simple extraction, the design and selection of the solvent is crucial to achieving subsequent facile separations. While volatile organic solvents can be removed by distillation, they suffer from flammability, smog formation and inhalation risks. Over the past several years, we have developed a series of unusual solvents, called switchable solvents, that can change their phase behaviour and other properties whenever needed. They can be used for reactions or extractions, and afterwards can be “switched” so that they can be easily separated from the product. There is no need for the solvent to be volatile, flammable or pressurized. The design of solvent molecules will be described, emphasizing both physical chemistry and environmental considerations. Examples will be given of the application of these solvents to catalyst/product or solvent/product separation and to water purification.


All Welcome