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Membrane Water Treatment
  Volume 10, Number 3, May 2019 , pages 207-212

Fates of water and salts in non-aqueous solvents for directional solvent extraction desalination: Effects of chemical structures of the solvents
Ohkyung Choi, Minsup Kim, Art E. Cho, Young Chul Choi, Gyu Dong Kim, Dooil Kim and Jae Woo Lee

    Non-aqueous solvents (NASs) are generally known to be barely miscible, and reactive with polar compounds, such as water. However, water can interact with some NASs, which can be used as a new means for water recovery from saline water. This study explored the fate of water and salt in NAS, when saline water is mixed with NAS. Three amine solvents were selected as NAS. They had the same molecular formula, but were differentiated by their molecular structures, as follows: 1) NAS \'A\' having the hydrophilic group (NH2) at the end of the straight carbon chain, 2) NAS \'B\' with symmetrical structure and having the hydrophilic group (NH) at the middle of the straight carbon chain, 3) NAS \'C\' having the hydrophilic group (NH2) at the end of the straight carbon chain but possessing a hydrophobic ethyl branch in the middle of the structure. In batch experiments, 0.5 M NaCl water was blended with NASs, and then water and salt content in the NAS were individually measured. Water absorption efficiencies by NAS \'B\' and \'C\' were 3.8 and 10.7%, respectively. However, salt rejection efficiency was 98.9% and 58.2%, respectively. NAS \'A\' exhibited a higher water absorption efficiency of 35.6%, despite a worse salt rejection efficiency of 24.7%. Molecular dynamic (MD) simulation showed the different interactions of water and salts with each NAS. NAS \'A\' formed lattice structured clusters, with the hydrophilic group located outside, and captured a large numbers of water molecules, together with salt ions, inside the cluster pockets. NAS \'B\' formed a planar-shaped cluster, where only some water molecules, but no salt ions, migrated to the NAS cluster. NAS \'C\', with an ethyl group branch, formed a cluster shaped similarly to that of \'B\'; however, the boundary surface of the cluster looked higher than that of \'C\', due to the branch structure in solvent. The MD simulation was helpful for understanding the experimental results for water absorption and salt rejection, by demonstrating the various interactions between water molecules and the salts, with the different NAS types.
Key Words
    non-aqueous solvent (NAS); desalination; directional solvent extraction (DSE); salt rejection; molecular dynamics
Ohkyung Choi, Jae Woo Lee: Department of Environmental Engineering, Korea University, Sejong 30019, Republic of Korea
Minsup Kim, Art E. Cho: Department of Bioinformatics, Korea University, Sejong 30019, Republic of Korea
Young Chul Choi:Water Research Center, Southern Research, GA 30120, USA
Gyu Dong Kim:Energy, Environment & Engineering, RTI International, NC 27709, USA
Dooil Kim:Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Dankook University, Yongin 16890, Republic of Korea

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