Solvent-Driven Resource Extraction

In solvent-driven resource extraction from brines, the saline feed is contacted with a partially water-miscible organic solvent, leading to the formation of two distinct liquid phases at thermodynamic equilibrium. Water is extracted up to thermodynamic equilibrium across the organic-aqueous liquid interface, with dissolved electrolytes remaining in the concentrated brine due to the low dielectric constant of the organic solvent. DME is an ideal organic solvent for its partial water miscibility and molecular characteristics conducive to near-complete salt rejection and efficient recovery of water. Advanced thermodynamic systems with DME can mitigate the scaling propensity on heat and mass exchangers, and exploit the high volatility of DME for ultra-low-grade heat usage.

Selected Papers

A.D. Wilson, Z.H. Foo, A.S. Jayasinghe, C. Stetson, H. Lee, H.W. Rollins, A. Deshmukh, J.H. Lienhard, “Modeling Henry’s Law and Phase Separations of Water-NaCl-Organic Mixtures with Solvation and Ion-Pairing”, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, In Press. (DOI)
Cover Page and 2023 PCCP HOT Article.

Z.H. Foo, C. Stetson, E. Dach, A. Deshmukh, H. Lee, A. Menon, R. Prasher, N.Y. Yip, J.H. Lienhard, A.D. Wilson, “Solvent-Driven Aqueous Separations for Hypersaline Brine Concentration and Resource Recovery”, Trends in Chemistry 4:12 (2022). (DOI)
Cover Page and Feature Review.

A. Deshmukh, Z.H. Foo, C. Stetson, A.D. Wilson, J.H. Lienhard, “Thermodynamics of Solvent-Driven Water Extraction from Hypersaline Brines by Dimethyl Ether”, Chemical Engineering Journal 434 (2022). (DOI)

J.S. McNally, Z.H. Foo, A. Deshmukh, C.J. Orme, J.H. Lienhard, A.D. Wilson,” Solute Displacement in the Aqueous Phase of Water-NaCl-Organic Ternary Mixtures Relevant to Solvent-Driven Water Treatment”, RSC Advances 49 (2020). (DOI)

Schematic process diagrams for practical implementation of solvent-driven separation processes

Schematic process diagrams for practical implementation of solvent-driven separation processes (Foo et al., Trends in Chemistry, 2022).