Water confined to the nanoscale offers a route to sustainable chemistry and energy storage
Water is an excellent solvent, but its high polarity limits the solubility of non-polar compounds. The confinement of water in hydrophobic nanopores alters its hydrogen bonding structure and related properties such as dielectric constant and solvation power. This is the idea that the EU-funded WATUSO project plans to explore: modulating water's solvent properties through hydrophobic nanoconfinement. Using pressure, a heterogeneous mixture of poorly soluble molecules and water can be forced into hydrophobic nanopores of the host material. There, the lowered polarity of water is expected to enhance solubility of apolar compounds. Nano-confined water opens new opportunities for green chemistry, offering a route to phase out noxious organic solvents, enhance hydrogenation chemistry and explore innovative avenues for energy storage.
Funding SchemeERC-ADG - Advanced Grant
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