Deep eutectic solvents as entrainers in extractive distillation – A review

Maximilian Neubauer, Thomas Wallek, Susanne Lux*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


One of the most common techniques for separating azeotropes and close-boiling mixtures is extractive distillation, where the relative volatility of the components to be separated is altered by adding an entrainer. In recent years, deep eutectic solvents have emerged as a new class of entrainers in extractive distillation. Similar to the related class of ionic liquids, deep eutectic solvents combine the high separation capability of solid salts with the simple handling of liquids, additionally exhibiting low to negligible vapour pressures and non-flammability. Compared to ionic liquids, deep eutectic solvents offer advantages in terms of toxicity issues but also solvent costs. In this review, the current state of research regarding deep eutectic solvents in extractive distillation spanning from vapour-liquid-equilibrium measurements and thermodynamic modelling of the corresponding systems to general entrainer feasibility considerations and process simulations is presented and critically evaluated. Additionally, future prospects and comments on unresolved issues are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-418
Number of pages17
JournalChemical Engineering Research and Design
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Azeotropes
  • Deep eutectic solvents
  • Extractive distillation
  • Process simulation
  • Vapour-liquid-equilibrium measurements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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