Deep Eutectic Solvents for Highly Efficient Extraction

Deep eutectic solvents (DESs) and natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) offer advantages as extraction solvents on many levels and are thereby a promising alternative to conventional organic solvents. Deep eutectic solvent work excellent in combination with ultrasonic extraction and give high yields of premium quality extracts. Find out more about ultrasonic extraction using natural deep eutectic solvents.

How Does Ultrasonication improve the Extraction with Deep Eutectic Solvents?

Ultrasonic extractor UP200Ht (200 watts, 26kHz) for the extraction of bioactive compounds such as polysaccharides, sterols, glycoproteins, terpenoids (e.g. erinacines), as well as phenolic and volatile compounds (e.g. hericenones)  using natural deep eutectic solvents.Ultrasonic probe-type extraction using deep eutectic solvents and natural deep eutectic solvents can offer several advantages for the extraction of bioactive compounds. One of the main advantages is the increased extraction efficiency of phenolic compounds and other phytochemicals from natural sources. Deep eutectic solvents are known for high extraction efficiency, which can be even enhances by ultrasonically-assisted extraction. Due to their non-toxicity they are a great solvent option for pharmaceutical and food products. This makes ultrasonic extraction using deep eutectic solvents a green and sustainable method for the recovery of bioactive compounds. The synergetic use of ultrasonication with deep eutectic solvents has been scientifically proven to result in higher yields of various bioactive compounds. Overall, ultrasonic probe-type extraction using deep eutectic solvents and natural deep eutectic solvents provides a more efficient and environmentally friendly approach to the extraction of bioactive compounds.

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Deep eutectic solvents (DES) are highly effective solvents for ultrasonic botanical extraction.

Ultrasonic extraction with (natural) deep eutectic solvents is a highly efficient method for superior botanical extracts. The picture shows the ultrasonic processor UP400St (400W) with a 8L batch for botanical extraction.

In this video, ultrasonic extraction from hops (humulus lupulus) is demonstrated. With the ultrasonicator UP200Ht caryophyllene and other compounds are extracted.

Ultrasonic Extraction of Hops with UP200Ht with S2614 probe

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Advantages of Ultrasonic Extraction using Deep Eutectic Solvents

  • Highly Efficient
  • Rapid process
  • Non-toxic
  • Exactly tunable to the specific botanical
  • Mild processing conditions
  • Batch and flow mode
  • Easy and safe
  • Environmental-friendly / biodegradable
  • Recycable
  • Non-inflammable
  • Inexpensive
  • Easily accessible

What are Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES)?

Deep eutectic solvents are used in combination with ultrasonic extraction in order to produce organic botanical extractsDeep eutectic solvents (DESs) are mixtures of at least one hydrogen bond acceptor (HBA) and one hydrogen bond donor (HBD), including carboxylic acids and other renewable compounds. According to Cai et al. (2019), “the strong hydrogen bonding interaction between HBA and HBD is the most important factor for the formation of DESs.” [Cai et al. 2019]
For hydrogen bond donors, compounds such as sugars, amino acids, carboxylic acids (e.g., benzoic acid, citric acid, succinic acid) or amines (e.g., urea, benzamide) are often used. The chemical interaction potential of hydrogen bond donors is the major factors contributing to formation and efficiency of deep eutectic solvents. Halide salts such as choline chloride or zinc chloride can be also used in conjunction with the hydrogen bond donors. Other choline chloride-based deep eutectic solvents are formed with malonic acid, phenol or glycerine. As result of the strong hydrogen-bonding interactions, the melting point of deep eutectic solvents is significantly reduced when compared to its individual components. In contrast to conventional solvents (e.g., ethanol, methanol, hexane, butane etc.) deep eutectic solvents are non-volatile, which means they have a very low vapour pressure and are thereby hardly inflammable. The toxicity of deep eutectic solvents is low, their biodegradability is high, and the necessary precursors are inexpensive, easily and plentiful available as well as renewable.
Natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) are even more eco-friendly as all precursors are sourced from natural sources. Deep eutectic solvents also offer a tunable solvency based on the chemistry of the solute and the species used to create deep eutectic solvents. Some natural deep eutectic solvents exhibit a high viscosity and they are therefore not very suitable for batch extraction. However, natural deep eutectic solvents with higher viscosities can be successfully applied as solvents in ultrasonic flow-through extraction.

The table below shows a few exemplary compositions of Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents (NADES) for the extraction of phytochemicals:

NADES Composition Molar Ratio
Choline chloride:Lactic acid 1:2
Choline chloride:Citric acid:Water 1:1:2
Choline chloride:Malic acid:Water 1:1:2
Choline chloride:Tartaric acid 1:2
Choline chloride:Glycerol 1:2
Choline chloride:1,2-propanediol 1:3
Choline chloride:Sorbitol 1:1
Choline chloride:Glucose:Water 2:1:1
Choline chloride:Fructose:Water 2:1:1
Choline chloride:Urea 1:2


In this presentation we introduce you to the manufacturing of botanical extracts. We explain the challenges of producing high-quality botanical extracts and how a sonicator can help you to overcome these challenges. This presentation will show you how ultrasonic extraction works. You will learn, what benefits you can expect using a sonicator for extraction and how you can implement an ultrasonic extractor into your extract production.

Ultrasonic Botanical Extraction - How to use sonicators to extract botanical compounds

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How Does Ultrasonic Extraction with Deep Eutectic Solvents Work?

Ultrasonic cavitation is used for manifold processes such as homogenization, dispersing, emulsification and extraction.Ultrasonic extraction is based on the sonomechanical effects of high-intensity, low-frequency ultrasound. To promote and intensify the extraction of botanical compounds (i.e., bioactive substances) via ultrasonication, high-power ultrasound waves are coupled via an ultrasonic probe (also called ultrasonic horn or sonotrode) into the liquid medium, i.e. the slurry consisting in the botanical raw material and the (natural) deep eutectic solvent. The ultrasound waves travel through the liquid and create alternating low-pressure / high-pressure cycles. During low-pressure cycles, minute vacuum bubbles (so-called cavitation bubbles) are created, which grow over several pressure cycles. During those cycles of bubble growth, the dissolved gases in the liquid enter the vacuum bubble, so that the vacuum bubble transform into growing gas bubbles. After growing over several cycles, the vacuum bubbles reach a certain size at which they cannot absorb more energy, so that they implode violently during a high-pressure cycle. The bubble implosion is characterised by intense cavitational forces, including very high temperature and pressure reaching up to 4000K and 1000atm, respectively; as well as corresponding high temperature and pressure differentials. These ultrasonically generated turbulences and shear forces break plant cells up and release the intracellular bioactive compounds into the (natural) deep eutectic solvent. Ultrasonic extraction opens the cell structure of botanicals and intensifies mass transfer between plant material and solvent. Sonication promotes thereby the efficacy of natural deep eutectic solvents. Ultrasonic extraction with (natural) deep eutectic solvents results in exceptionally high yields within a very short processing time.

Ultrasonic extraction is works by disrupting cell structures and promoting mass transfer

Power ultrasound waves disrupt the cell structure of botanicals, release the bioactive compounds and promote the mass transfer between the plant material and the solvent (e.g., deep eutectic solvents).

The combination of ultrasonic extraction with (natural) deep eutectic solvents gives you the opportunity to combine the process intensifying power of ultrasound with the remarkable solubilizing effects and outstanding designability of deep eutectic solvents. Due to the superior efficiency of ultrasonic extraction, ultrasonicators are also successfully used for water extraction.
Contact us now to learn more about the powerful ultrasonic extraction application using deep eutectic solvents!

Ultrasonic extraction can be combined with deep eutectic solvents for superior efficiency and eco-friendliness.

Ultrasonic extractor UIP2000hdT (2kW) for the production of botanical extracts

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High-Performance Ultrasonic Extractors for the Use of Deep Eutectic Solvents

Industrial ultrasonic extractor for the inline extraction of botanicals on large scale.Ultrasonic extraction is a reliable processing technology, which facilitates and accelerates the production of high-quality extracts from various botanical as well as any solvent. Ultrasonic extraction is highly compatible with (natural) deep eutectic solvents, which are favourable due to their excellent solubilizing power, designability to the extract, sustainability, biodegradability, and eco-friendliness. The combination of the process intensification of power ultrasound with the advantages of (natural) deep eutectic solvents gives this process technology superiority on many levels. Hielscher Ultrasonics portfolio covers the full range from compact lab ultrasonicators to industrial extraction systems. All of them are of course suitable for the extraction with deep eutectic solvents.
Our long-time experienced staff will assist you from feasibility tests and process optimisation to the installation of your ultrasonic system on final production level.

Hielscher Ultrasonics Extractors feature:

  • high efficiency power-ultrasound
  • high reliability
  • very high amplitudes
  • operation in batch and flow-mode
  • repeatable / reproducible results
  • 24/7/365 operation
  • robustness
  • smart software
  • browser remote control
  • user-friendliness
  • low maintenance requirements
  • safety

The table below gives you an indication of the approximate processing capacity of our ultrasonicators:

Batch Volume Flow Rate Recommended Devices
1 to 500mL 10 to 200mL/min UP100H
10 to 2000mL 20 to 400mL/min UP200Ht, UP400St
0.1 to 20L 0.2 to 4L/min UIP2000hdT
10 to 100L 2 to 10L/min UIP4000hdT
n.a. 10 to 100L/min UIP16000
n.a. larger cluster of UIP16000

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Please use the form below to request additional information about ultrasonic extractors, extraction protocols and prices. We will be glad to discuss your extraction process with you and to offer you an ultrasonic system fulfilling your requirements!

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This video clip shows the Hielscher ultrasonic homogenizer UP100H, an ultrasonicator widely used for sample preparation in laboratories.

Ultrasonic Homogenizer UP100H

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Ultrasonic high-shear homogenizers are used in lab, bench-top, pilot and industrial processing.

Hielscher Ultrasonics manufactures high-performance ultrasonic homogenizers for mixing applications, dispersion, emulsification and extraction on lab, pilot and industrial scale.

Literature / References

Hielscher Ultrasonics supplies high-performance ultrasonic homogenizers from lab to industrial size.

High performance ultrasonics! Hielscher’s product range covers the full spectrum from the compact lab ultrasonicator over bench-top units to full-industrial ultrasonic systems.

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