I want to test a process that was documented in the literature using N-methylimidazole.

I am not doing academic research, but rather testing a documented reaction for application to an industrial process, so I don't believe I need lab-grade chemicals.

When I look for this solvent online I can only find lab suppliers (e.g., Matrix Scientific, Acros Organics, Alfa Aeser) selling tiny quantities at very high prices.

Is there something unique to this chemical as a "donor solvent" that is not reproduced by any more common or inexpensive solvent? I have seen it mentioned frequently in organic chemistry papers, but since I can't find industrial suppliers I assume it's peculiar to research.

The application I'm interested in is chemical stripping of lead using Rauchfuss's Elixir, which consists of sulfur as an oxidant and a donor solvent. I haven't been able to learn why they used methylimidazole as the solvent in the study. Obviously I would prefer one more widely and/or cheaply available.

  • $\begingroup$ What kind of price per unit are you looking for? $\endgroup$
    – A.K.
    Dec 6, 2015 at 23:04
  • $\begingroup$ Something significantly less than $100/L. $\endgroup$
    – feetwet
    Dec 6, 2015 at 23:55

2 Answers 2


http://www.guidechem.com/cas-616/616-47-7.html 2000 RMB = $(USD)320

Info and suppliers, Note that a Chinese contract is often not the legal or philosophical equivalent of a Western contract.

  • $\begingroup$ That's funny! But I feel like I'm missing something if I have to go overseas to get industrial quantities of a common organic compound. $\endgroup$
    – feetwet
    Apr 30, 2014 at 18:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1-Methylimidazole basf.com/group/corporate/us/en/brand/1_METHYLIMIDAZOLE America is regulated, legislated, and benefitted out of business. War on Drugs, War on Terror, the coming War on 3-D Printing. Miraculous Plasti-Dip is CA-banned: "solvent-based." Aluthane, a very real exposure hazard with lower solids content, is OK - "solvent-based metallic paint." $\endgroup$
    – Uncle Al
    Apr 30, 2014 at 20:03

From what I see in the paper they likely wanted a basic solvet, and pyridine may have had a high enough dipole moment. For quantities this small you are going to pay a bit more than you would in bulk, though as far as organic reagents go the prices are fairly cheap. Acros and Alfa-Aesar are both owned by Fisher-Thermo Scientific by the way. Try Sigma-Aldrich or TCI America if you haven't already.


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