Experimental and Molecular Modeling Evaluation of the Physicochemical Properties of Proline-Based Deep Eutectic Solvents

The liquid range and applicability of deep eutectic solvents (DESs) are determined by their physicochemical properties. In this work, the physicochemical properties of glycolic acid:proline and malic acid:proline were evaluated experimentally and with MD simulations at five different ratios. Both DESs exhibited esterification upon preparation, which affected the viscosity in particular. In order to minimize oligomer formation and water release, three different experimental preparation methods were explored, but none could prevent esterification. The experimental and calculated densities of the DESs were found to be in good agreement. The measured and modeled glass transition temperature showed similar trends with composition, as did the experimental viscosity and the calculated diffusivities. The MD simulations provided additional insight at the atomistic level, showing that at acid-rich compositions, the acid–acid hydrogen bonding (HB) interactions prevail. Malic acid–based DESs show stronger acid–acid HB interactions than glycolic acid–based ones, possibly explaining its extreme viscosity. Upon the addition of proline, the interspecies interactions become predominant, confirming the formation of the widely assumed HB network between the DESs constituents in the liquid phase.



Adriaan van den Bruinhorst, Theodora Spyriouni, Jörg-Rüdiger Hill, and Maaike C. Kroon


J. Phys. Chem. B, 2018, 122 (1), pp 369–379