Sustainable “green” Chemistry
What are alternative solvents?
Alternative solvents are relatively environmentally benign solvents that can be substituted for the more hazardous choices, which, while they may be traditionally used, may have established precedence without environmental safety or toxicity concerns in mind.
One such example is 2-methyl tetrahydrofuran. As a solvent, it possesses similar characteristics to the widely used dichloromethane and tetrahydrofuran solvents, but with significant environmental advantages in that it is produced from renewable feedstocks, like corn cobs and bagasse, and is easier to separate and clean up.
You can compare the chemical structures of 2-methyl tetrahydrofuran (left) with dichloromethane (center) and tetrahydrofuran (right) below.