First Deep Eutectic Solvent-Based (DES) Stationary Phase for Gas Chromatography and Future Perspectives for DES Application in Separation Techniques

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Journal of Chromatography A


The paper presents the first application of deep eutectic solvents (DES) as stationary phases for gas chromatography. DES obtained by mixing tetrabutylammonium chloride (TBAC) as a hydrogen bond acceptor (HBA) with heptadecanoic acid being a hydrogen bond donor (HBD) in a mole ratio of HBA:HBD equal to 1:2 was characterized by its ability to separate volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The Rohrschneider – McReynolds constants determined reveal that the synthesized DES is a stationary phase of medium polarity. A detailed retention characteristic was determined for a number of groups of chemical compounds, including aromatic hydrocarbons, alcohols, ketones, sulfides and thiophene derivatives. The synthesized DES was found to have a high selectivity towards alcohols. At the same time, the investigated stationary phase was found to have specific interactions with some analytes. For example, a stronger retention was observed for 1-hexanol and 1-heptanol compared to other alcohols. Retention times of these two alcohols are longer by 191% and 300%, respectively, relative to the expected value based on their boiling point. Such an increased retention is caused by a synergistic effect of various kinds of interactions – the possibility of formation of hydrogen bonds between the DES and the hydroxyl group of alcohols and hydrophobic interactions of alkyl chains of the DES with the alkyl chain of alcohols. The ability to modify properties of DESs by replacement of HBA or HBD with a different chemical compound or by dissolving in DES macromolecular substances makes the proposed stationary phase highly flexible. In addition to using the developed DES in chromatographic techniques, the retention data collected indicate the possibility of its application to other separation techniques, i.e. extractive distillation.



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