Measurement and Modeling of Setschenow Constants for Selected Hydrophilic Compounds in NaCl and CaCl2 Simulated Carbon Storage Brines

Aniela Burant, Gregory V. Lowry, Athanasios K. Karamalidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


ConspectusCarbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), a climate change mitigation strategy, along with unconventional oil and gas extraction, generates enormous volumes of produced water containing high salt concentrations and a litany of organic compounds. Understanding the aqueous solubility of organic compounds related to these operations is important for water treatment and reuse alternatives, as well as risk assessment purposes. The well-established Setschenow equation can be used to determine the effect of salts on aqueous solubility. However, there is a lack of reported Setschenow constants, especially for polar organic compounds.In this study, the Setschenow constants for selected hydrophilic organic compounds were experimentally determined, and linear free energy models for predicting the Setschenow constant of organic chemicals in concentrated brines were developed. Solid phase microextraction was employed to measure the salting-out behavior of six selected hydrophilic compounds up to 5 M NaCl and 2 M CaCl2 and in Na-Ca-Cl brines. All compounds, which include phenol, p-cresol, hydroquinone, pyrrole, hexanoic acid, and 9-hydroxyfluorene, exhibited log-linear behavior up to these concentrations, meaning Setschenow constants previously measured at low salt concentrations can be extrapolated up to high salt concentrations for hydrophilic compounds. Setschenow constants measured in NaCl and CaCl2 brines are additive for the compounds measured here; meaning Setschenow constants measured in single salt solutions can be used in multiple salt solutions.The hydrophilic compounds in this study were selected to elucidate differences in salting-out behavior based on their chemical structure. Using data from this study, as well as literature data, linear free energy relationships (LFERs) for prediction of NaCl, CaCl2, LiCl, and NaBr Setschenow constants were developed and validated. Two LFERs were improved. One LFER uses the Abraham solvation parameters, which include the index of refraction of the organic compound, organic compound's polarizability, hydrogen bonding acidity and basicity of the organic compound, and the molar volume of the compound. The other uses an octanol-water partitioning coefficient to predict NaCl Setschenow constants. Improved models from this study now include organic compounds that are structurally and chemically more diverse than the previous models. The CaCl2, LiCl, and NaBr single parameter LFERs use concepts from the Hofmeister series to predict new, respective Setschenow constants from NaCl Setschenow constants. The Setschenow constants determined here, as well as the LFERs developed, can be incorporated into CCUS reactive transport models to predict aqueous solubility and partitioning coefficients of organic compounds. This work also has implications for beneficial reuse of water from CCUS; this can aide in determining treatment technologies for produced waters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1332-1341
Number of pages10
JournalAccounts of Chemical Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 20 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)


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