A major concern in solvent extraction processes is the loss of extractant into the aqueous phase due to its slight solubility in the aqueous phase. Similarly, in membrane extraction processes, extractant loss through extractant leakage from the membrane into the aqueous phase is also a concern. Several published membrane extraction studies using Aliquat 336 as the extractant, have expressed this concern, but none has studied extractant leakage quantitatively. It is the authors’ opinion that the extractant leakage should be considered as a technical parameter of a membrane. In our laboratory active progress has been made in using Aliquat 336 ‘entangled’ into the polymer membranes to remove heavy metal ions from wastewater samples. In this work, we studied the loss of Aliquat 336 from the point of view of its solubility in aqueous solutions. The results showed that the solubilities of Aliquat 336 in an aqueous phase acidified with 2 M HCl is about 0.1 g/100 m/ of the solution. This figure provides a useful guideline for evaluating the leakage of the Aliquat 336 extractant from the membranes.
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