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Multiphasic liquid



A multiphasic liquid, also known as a multiphasic liquid-liquid-liquid system, is a mixture consisting of more than two immiscible liquid phases. Biphasic mixtures consisting of two immiscible phases are very common and usually consist of an organic solvent and an aqueous phase ("oil and water"). Multiphasic liquids are rare and only triphasic (three phases) and tetraphasic (four phases) are known. Multiphasic liquids can be used for selective liquid-liquid extractions or for decorative purposes, e.g. in cosmetics.

While it is possible to get multilayered phases by layering nonpolar and aqueous phases of decreasing densities on top of each other, these phases will not separate after mixing like true multiphasic liquids.

Additional recommended knowledge

Contents

Compositions

The following types of multiphasic liquids exist:

Triphasic systems

  • Nonpolar solvent / aqueous biphasic mixture
    e.g. using hexane, heptane, cyclohexane, or mineral oil as the nonpolar solvent
    e.g. hexane, polyethylene oxide, dextran, water
    • Nonpolar solvent / water-soluble polymer / salt / water
      e.g. hexane, polyethylene oxide, sodium sulfate, water
    • Nonpolar solvent A / solvent B / polymer soluble in solvent B and water / water
      e.g. heptane, dichloromethane, polyethylene oxide, water
  • Nonpolar solvent A / solvent B / polymer soluble in solvent B and water / salt / water
    e.g. 16.3% heptane, 21.7% dichloromethane, 9.5% polyethylene oxide, 51.5% water, 0.1% sodium sulfate
  • Nonpolar solvent / hydrophobic salt / water
    e.g. iso-octane, Aliquat 336 (methyltrioctylammonium chloride, a phase transfer catalyst), water [1]

Tetraphasic systems

  • Nonpolar solvent A / solvent B / polymer soluble in solvent B and water / salt / water
    e.g. 10.9% heptane, 15.5% dichloromethane, 7.1% polyethylene oxide, 66.5% sodium sulfate (> 0.1%) in water

See also

 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Multiphasic_liquid". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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