Background: Total water resources account for only 2.5% of freshwater on earth, and only 1% of total
water resources can be exploited by humans. The development of practical methods of seawater desalination
and comprehensive utilization technology can help address the shortage of freshwater resources
in the world, and achieve sustainable use of water resources to ensure sustainable development
in a society. Direct seawater utilization currently involves industrial cooling water, water for agricultural
irrigation, and flushing water. Applications in aqueous phase organic reactions, particularly the direct use of
seawater in industrial organic synthesis reactions, are seldom reported.
Methods: we used seawater instead of freshwater in selected basic organic chemical reactions. The application of seawater
in aqueous phase organic reactions was systematically investigated. Six types of reactions were studied using freshwater
and seawater, namely, preparation of acetanilide, synthesis of mandelic acid, Cannizzaro reaction, Hofmann degradation
reaction, preparation of quinazolin-4-one, and preparation of adipic acid.
Results: Seven organic compounds were produced. Results show that some organic reactions could directly use seawater
or treated seawater as an alternative to freshwater. The yields of the reactions using seawater could be compared with literature
values, or were even better than literature values.
Conclusion: This research provides new opportunities for the comprehensive utilization of seawater. Some organic reactions
could directly use seawater or treated seawater instead of freshwater. The use of seawater instead of freshwater for
organic reactions in industrial production may greatly conserve freshwater resources and protect the environment.