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Aqueous-organic phase separation

Aqueous-organic phase separation

Aqueous-organic phase separation

(OP)
We have an organic phase with C10+ alkenes and toluene and a basic aqueous phase. We are going through carbon beds quickly. The carbon bed removes the cloudy rag layer very well for about a day and that's it. We need the basic solution to dissolve impurities from the catalyst.

The idea was that the aqueous phase would separate easily taking with it the impurites from the polymerization reaction.

Any ideas on an aqueous-soluable agent that would help separate? We could remove traces of an organic in the next step, which is distillation.  

RE: Aqueous-organic phase separation

If I understand your proposition, the aqueous layer gets discarded, and you're trying to get rid of an emulsion / facilitate the water/organic separation process.  Assuming that's within the ballpark of the truth, might it be possible to add a small amount of a salt of some sort to the mixture just before it goes to separation?  That would break up any emulsions, and the now-ionic nature of the aqueous phase should make it separate more sharply/clearly from the organic phase--at least it should if I recall emulsion-breaking from my organic chem lab days in the '70s.

RE: Aqueous-organic phase separation

Heat will also help drive the organic phase to separate out.  If you could heat the material it would probably help.

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