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.