Benzene removal from waste water using aqueous surfactant two-phase extraction with cationic and anionic surfactant mixtures.

PMID 18514760


A novel separation technique known as an aqueous surfactant two-phase (ASTP) extraction is a promising method to remove organic contaminants from wastewater. When cationic and anionic surfactants are mixed at certain surfactant concentrations and compositions, the solution separates into two immiscible aqueous phases. One is the surfactant-rich and the other is the surfactant-dilute phase. The organic contaminants will solubilize into the surfactant aggregates and concentrate in the small volume surfactant-rich phase. The other phase contains only small amount of surfactants and contaminants as the treated water. Most ASTP studies have used nonionic surfactants above the cloud point. Mixtures of anionic and cationic surfactants can also exhibit aqueous-aqueous phase separation and can be used in the ASTP extraction process. The phase behavior and performance of ASTP extraction using cationic surfactant dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide (DTAB) and anionic surfactant alkyldiphenyloxide di-sulfonate (DPDS) to extract benzene from wastewater was investigated in batch experiments. It was found that phase separation only occurs over a narrow range of molar ratios of DTAB:DPDS from 1.6:1 to 2.4:1. In this study, a 2:1 molar ratio of DTAB:DPDS at which there is no net charge in the surfactant aggregates show the highest extraction efficiency and lowest critical micelle concentration value with greatest synergism (highest negative values of the micellar interaction parameter). At a total surfactant concentration of 50mM, the benzene partition ratio is 48 and 72% of the benzene is extracted into the surfactant-rich phase solution in a single stage extraction, which is superior performance compared to ASTP extraction using nonionic surfactants.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

Decyltrimethylammonium bromide, ≥98.0% (NT)