Enhanced solvent extraction with water-in-oil microemulsions

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This paper examines theoretically the conditions which favor enhanced extraction when a microemulsion phase containing a surfactant and a chelating agent is used as the solvent extraction organic phase. A general thermodynamic model of liquid-liquid distribution in reversed micellar systems is presented. The model treats the reversed micellar aggregates of the surfactant HA as a pseudophase and considers (a) the partition of a chelating extractant (HL) between the continuous organic phase and the reversed micellar pseudophase, (b) transfer of the metal ion Mz+into the continuous organic phase via reaction with HA monomers, (c) partition of the MZ+-HA complex between the continuous organic phase and the reversed micellar pseudophase, (d) reaction of the MZ+-HA complex with HL in the reversed micellar pseudophase, and (e) partition of the HL-containing complex between the reversed micellar pseudophase and the continuous organic phase. Quantitative expressions are derived that permit one to identify the chemical parameters that influence the liquid-liquid transfer process and therefore permit one to undertake the rational design of microemulsion formulations for specific applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1269-1284
Number of pages16
JournalSeparation Science and Technology
Issue number12-13
StatePublished - Oct 1 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation


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