Critical Investigation of Betaine Hydrochloride-Based Deep Eutectic Solvent for Ionometallurgical Metal Production

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



The applicability of a deep eutectic solvent (DES) consisting of betainium hydrochloride, urea and glycerol is examined with respect to ionometallurgical metal extraction and compared with the ionic liquid (IL) betainium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide ([Hbet][NTf2]). The DES dissolves numerous metal oxides, where not only betaine and chloride act as stabilizing ligands, but also nascent ammonia seems to be essential. From such solutions, cobalt, copper, zinc, tin, lead, and even vanadium can be electrodeposited, demonstrating the feasibility of ionometallurgy. However, repeated recycling of the DES is not conceivable. NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry identify numerous decomposition reactions taking place at 60 °C already. The by-products that are formed not only make recycling more difficult, but also pose a toxicity problem. The opportunities and obstacles of DESs and ILs for their application in ionometallurgy are critically discussed. It is shown that a thorough understanding of the underlying chemical processes is critical.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202300114
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

External IDs

PubMed 37548281
ORCID /0000-0002-2391-6025/work/159171913


ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • deep eutectic solvents, electrodeposition, green solvents, ionic liquids, metal oxides