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2015 | 1 | 1 |

Article title

Optimisation of the emulsion liquid membrane
composition and demulsification for rhodium


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This study was aimed at designing an optimised
emulsion liquid membrane (ELM) for the extraction of
rhodium from precious metal refinery wastewaters. The
demulsification process and the structure of the optimised
ELM are reported on. Two optimised ELMs were prepared.
The first one contained a 30 % solution of toluene in
kerosene as diluent with the following concentrations of
the ELM components: 30.000 g/L (w/v) polyisobutylene,
10.870 g/L (m/v) of trioctyl amine and 51.001 g/L (m/v) of
SPAN 80. The second ELM contained the same diluent,
but the concentrations of the other ELM components in
it were as follows: 20.000 g/l of polyisobutylene, 10.268
g/l trioctyl amine and 50.024 g/l of SPAN 80. The stripping
phase was the same in both optimised ELMs, namely
a 2 M solution of HNO3. The stripping phase and the
diluent solution were mixed together in ratios of 1:1 and
2:1, respectively. Two methods were used to characterise
the microdroplet diameters, i.e. optical microscopy and
the Zeta-sizer. For the t-test, the p-value of 0.3018 at 5 %
level of significance showed that there was statistically no
significant difference in the mean micro-droplet size for 1:2
ELMs containing 20 g/l and 30 g/l of polyisobutylene after
40 minutes of emulsification. The best demulsification
results were obtained using the chemical demulsification
with polyethylene glycol with molecular weight of 400
g/mol (PEG 400) at 50 ± 1 °C for 24 hours. However,
significant carryover of toluene, trioctyl amine and
polyethylene glycol into the aqueous phase was observed.







Physical description


10 - 4 - 2015
3 - 9 - 2015
4 - 2 - 2015


  • Division of Pharmaceutical
    Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Rhodes University, P. O. Box 94,
    Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa
  • Division of Pharmaceutical
    Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Rhodes University, P. O. Box 94,
    Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa


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