Phase equilibria insights into amine-water-NaCl interactions in liquid-liquid biphasic systems for temperature swing solvent extraction desalination

Shah, Kinnari Malav; Dach, Elizabeth May; Winton, Robert Kyongho; Fan, Hanqing; Yip, Ngai Yin

This study sheds light on the fundamental phenomena governing temperature swing solvent extraction (TSSE) desalination by investigating the influence of temperature on the equilibrium partitioning of water, salt, and solvent. The distribution of components across a range of temperatures and feed salinities typical to TSSE hypersaline desalination was examined for two amine solvents. A tradeoff between selectivity and productivity is established, providing a novel framework to assess TSSE performance. Salt was shown to be a key determinant in equilibrium partitioning by diminishing the ability of the solvent to extract water at lowered temperatures and salting-out amines from the aqueous phase. Na+ and Cl− ions consistently partition into the solvent phase in equimolar ratios. Analysis further reveals a linear correlation between the natural logarithms of salt activity coefficients and water contents of the organic phase. The two collaborating results suggest that water-ion interactions are more important than amine-ion interactions in the organic phase, resolving a critical gap in the understanding of salt transport. The findings of this study can provide important insights for the informed development of temperature swing solvent extraction for hypersaline desalination.


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Earth and Environmental Engineering
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December 2, 2022