Brillouin Spectroscopy as a Suitable Technique for the Determination of the Eutectic Composition in Mixtures of Choline Chloride and Water.

Deep eutectic solvents (DESs) resulting from the right combination between a hydrogen-bond donor (HBD) and a hydrogen-bond acceptor (HBA) are becoming quite popular in number of applications.

More recently, natural DESs (NADESs) containing sugars, natural organic acids and amino acids as HBDs and ChCl as HBA have received great attention because of their further environmental sustainability as compared to regular DESs. Within this context, mixing water in controlled amounts has been widely accepted as a simple and practical way of altering DES chemical and thermodynamic properties, with viscosity and conductivity experiencing the most significant changes.

However, the number of papers describing eutectic mixtures with water as the only HBD is scarce and basically none study has been done in fundamental terms. Herein, we investigated mixtures composed of water as the only HBD and ChCl as the HBA using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) as well as 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and Brillouin spectroscopies.

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We found the aqueous dilution of ChCl·2H2O with a ChCl·2H2O content of ca. 80 wt% was an eutectic. Interestingly, this mixture could be considered a DES/NADES according to its eutectic distance (ΔTme), in range to those reported for aqueous salt hydrates.