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Third phase

Third phase is the term for a stable emulsion which forms in a solvent extraction system when the original two phases (aqueous and organic) are mixed.

The third phase can be caused by a detergent (surfactant) or a fine solid. While third phase is a term for an unwanted emulsion, a stable emulsion is wanted in emulsion polymerization all the things which can be used to make a stable 'emulsion' for a latex synthesis can prove to encourgae a third phase to form.

One term for the third phase found in PUREX plants is crud (Chalk River Unknown Deposit). One common crud is formed by the reaction of zirconium salts (from fission) with degraded tributyl phosphate (TBP). The TBP degrades into dibutyl hydrogen phosphate and then into butyl dihydrogen phosphate. The dibutyl hydrogen phosphate and the zirconium can form polymeric solid which is very insoluble.

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