Aqueous Biphasic Systems Composed of Ionic Liquids and Acetate-Based Salts: Phase Diagrams, Densities, and Viscosities


Ionic-liquid-based aqueous biphasic systems (IL-based ABS) have been largely investigated as promising extraction and purification routes. In this context, the determination of their phase diagrams and the physical properties of the coexisting phases are of high relevance when envisaging their large-scale applications. Low viscosities improve mass transfer and reduce energy consumption, while the knowledge of their densities is important for equipment design. In this work, novel phase diagrams for aqueous solutions of imidazolium-based ILs combined with acetate-based salts, namely KCH3CO2 or NaCH3CO2, are reported and discussed. The ability of the acetate-based salts to induce the phase separation not only depends on the ions hydration energy, but also on the concentration of free ions in solution. The tie-lines, tie-line lengths, and critical points are also addressed. Experimental measurements of density and viscosity of the coexisting phases, for the different systems and at several compositions and temperatures, are additionally presented. The OthmerTobias and Bancroft equations are also applied to ascertain the tie-lines coherence. It is here shown that low-viscous IL-based ABS, with a high difference in the densities of the coexisting phases, can be formed with organic and biodegradable salts thus offering enhanced features over conventional polymer-based systems.



subject category

Thermodynamics; Chemistry; Engineering


Quental, MV; Passos, H; Kurnia, KA; Coutinho, JAP; Freire, MG

our authors


This work was developed in the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials (ref. FCT UID/CTM/50011/2013), financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC and when applicable cofinanced by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership. K. A. Kurnia and H. Passos acknowledge FCT for the postdoctoral and doctoral grants, SFRH/BPD/88101/2012 and SFRH/BD/85248/2012, respectively. M. G. Freire acknowledges the European Research Council (ERC) for the Starting Grant ERC-2013-StG-337753.

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