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Title: Supercritical fluid reverse micelle separation

A method of separating solute material from a polar fluid in a first polar fluid phase is provided. The method comprises combining a polar fluid, a second fluid that is a gas at standard temperature and pressure and has a critical density, and a surfactant. The solute material is dissolved in the polar fluid to define the first polar fluid phase. The combined polar and second fluids, surfactant, and solute material dissolved in the polar fluid is maintained under near critical or supercritical temperature and pressure conditions such that the density of the second fluid exceeds the critical density thereof. In this way, a reverse micelle system defining a reverse micelle solvent is formed which comprises a continuous phase in the second fluid and a plurality of reverse micelles dispersed in the continuous phase. The solute material is dissolved in the polar fluid and is in chemical equilibrium with the reverse micelles. The first polar fluid phase and the continuous phase are immiscible. The reverse micelles each comprise a dynamic aggregate of surfactant molecules surrounding a core of the polar fluid. The reverse micelle solvent has a polar fluid-to-surfactant molar ratio W, which can vary over a range having amore » maximum ratio W.sub.o that determines the maximum size of the reverse micelles. The maximum ratio W.sub.o of the reverse micelle solvent is then varied, and the solute material from the first polar fluid phase is transported into the reverse micelles in the continuous phase at an extraction efficiency determined by the critical or supercritical conditions.« less
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. (Richland, WA)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
US 5266205
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Research Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
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