The acknowledgement that uncontrolled and excessive use of fossil resources has become a prime concern with regard to environmental deterioration, has shifted the orientation of economies towards the implementation of sustainable routes of production, through the valorization of biomass. Green chemistry plays a key role in this regard, defining the framework of processes that encompass eco-friendly methodologies, which aim at the development of highly efficient production of numerous bioderived chemicals, with minimum environmental aggravation. One of the major concerns of the chemical industry in establishing sustainable routes of production, is the replacement of fossil-derived, volatile solvents, with bio-based benign ones, with low vapor pressure, recyclability, low or no toxicity, availability and low cost. Glycerol is a natural substance, inexpensive and non-toxic, and it is a principal by-product of biodiesel industry resulting from the transesterification process. The ever-growing market of biodiesel has created a significant surplus of glycerol production, resulting in a concomitant drop of its price. Thus, glycerol has become a highly available, low-cost liquid, and over the past decade its use as an alternative solvent has been gaining unprecedented attention. This review summarizes the utilization of glycerol and glycerol-based deep eutectic mixtures as emerging solvents with outstanding prospect in bioactive polyphenol extraction.
Keywords: deep eutectic solvents; extraction; glycerol; green solvents; polyphenols.