Structural, Thermodynamic, and Transport Properties of Aqueous Reline and Ethaline Solutions From Molecular Dynamics Simulations

J Phys Chem B. 2019 Dec 26;123(51):11014-11025. doi: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.9b09729. Epub 2019 Dec 12.


Deep eutectic solvents (DESs) are a new generation of green solvents, which are considered an environmentally friendly alternative to ionic liquids and volatile organic compounds. The addition of controlled amounts of water to DESs has a significant effect on their microscopic structure and thus on their thermodynamic and transport properties. In this way, DESs can be modified, leading to solvents with improved characteristics. In this work, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are performed to obtain a better understanding of the relation between the microscopic structure, molecular interactions, and thermophysical properties of aqueous reline and ethaline solutions at temperatures ranging from 303.15 to 363.15 K. For both reline and ethaline solutions, the hydrogen bond (HB) networks disappear with increasing mass fraction of water, and the intensity of radial distribution function (RDF) peaks decreases. For a mass fraction of water of 40%, most of the HBs between the compounds of reline and ethaline are broken, and DESs are fully dissolved in water. Consequently, a monotonic decrease in viscosities and an increase in self-diffusion coefficients are observed. Ionic conductivities show a nonmonotonic behavior with increasing water content. Up to 60% water mass fraction, the ionic conductivities increase with increasing water content. A further increase in the mass fraction of water decreases conductivities. For all studied systems, the HB network and the peaks of RDFs show relatively small changes for water mass fractions below 5% and beyond 40%. The MD results show that viscosities decrease with temperature, while diffusivities and ionic conductivities increase. The effect of the temperature on the structure of DES-water mixtures is negligible.