Liquid-liquid extraction

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Original Entry: Ian Bruce Burgess Fall 2009


Liquid-liquid extraction is a technique for separating compounds in solution based on solubilities in different immiscible solvents. A compound is extracted from a solution (usually aqueous) by diffusion across the liquid-liquid interface into an immiscible organic solvent in which the compound has a higher solubility. The effectiveness of the extraction can be measured by the ratio of solute concentrations in the two liquids once the osmosis has reached equilibrium. This technique can be used to purify a coumpund in solution, such as an organic reaction product, or to separate two reagents during a synthetic process.


D.C. Harris, Quantitative Chemical Analysis, (6th Ed.) W.H. Freeman Co, 2003.