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Phase Studies and Efficient Recovery of Inorganic Metal Salts from the Microemulsion System Using a Sugar-Based Non-Ionic Surfactant

Phasenuntersuchungen und effiziente Rückgewinnung von anorganischen Metallsalzen aus dem Mikroemulsionssystem unter Verwendung eines zuckerbasierten nichtionischen Tensids
Shehnaz H. Solanki and Sandeep R. Patil


In the present work, the phase behaviour of the microemulsion system formulated by using water, organic solvent, and a sugar-based non-ionic surfactant was investigated in detail. We have used a sugar-based non-ionic surfactant for formulation of microemulsion, as it is a greener alternative for the formulation of a microemulsion system, owing to the following aspects: a) better physicochemical properties as compared to that of the conventional non-ionic surfactants, b) non-toxicity, and c) biodegradability. The extraction of heavy metal ions from the metal complexes as well as the recovery efficiency of heavy metal ions using a microemulsion system has been investigated. The maximum absorbance values of metal ions, after recovery from the metal complexes, were measured. Moreover, the UV-Visible spectrophotometric studies revealed that the absorbance increases with an increase in metal ion concentration in the aqueous phase while its value decreases with an increase in the concentration of potassium thiocyanate in the aqueous phase after the extraction of the metal ions from the metal complexes. Furthermore, it has also been evaluated that 4.0 mol/L potassium thiocyanate is the optimum concentration required for efficient recovery of 0.05 mol/L cobalt ion as well as nickel ions. The recovery efficiency of cobalt ions was found to be 97%, whereas that of nickel ions was determined to be 94% respectively. In addition to being an environmentally friendly approach, the present work is an economically viable option too, as it deals with the studies related to the extraction and efficient recovery of metal ions.


In der vorliegenden Arbeit wurde das Phasenverhalten des Mikroemulsionssystems, das unter Verwendung von Wasser, organischem Lösungsmittel und einem nichtionischen Tensid auf Zuckerbasis formuliert wurde, eingehend untersucht. Wir haben ein nicht-ionisches Tensid auf Zuckerbasis für die Formulierung der Mikroemulsion verwendet, da es eine umweltfreundlichere Alternative für die Formulierung eines Mikroemulsionssystems ist, und zwar aufgrund der folgenden Aspekte: a) bessere physikochemische Eigenschaften im Vergleich zu den herkömmlichen nichtionischen Tensiden, b) Nicht-Toxizität und c) biologische Abbaubarkeit. Die Extraktion von Schwermetall-Ionen aus den Metallkomplexen sowie die Rückgewinnungseffizienz von Schwermetallionen unter Verwendung eines Mikroemulsionssystems wurden untersucht. Es wurden die maximalen Absorptionswerte der Metallionen nach der Rückgewinnung aus den Metallkomplexen gemessen. Darüber hinaus ergaben die spektrophotometrischen Untersuchungen im UV-Bereich, dass die Absorption mit zunehmender Metallionenkonzentration in der wässrigen Phase zunimmt, während ihr Wert mit zunehmender Konzentration von Kaliumthiocyanat in der wässrigen Phase nach der Extraktion der Metallionen aus den Metallkomplexen abnimmt. Weiterhin wurde ermittelt, dass 4,0 mol/L Kaliumthiocyanat die optimale Konzentration ist, die für eine effiziente Rückgewinnung von 0,05 mol/L Kobalt- sowie Nickel-Ionen erforderlich ist. Es wurde festgestellt, dass die Rückgewinnungseffizienz von Kobalt-Ionen 97% beträgt, während die von Nickel-Ionen mit 94% ermittelt wurde. Die vorliegende Arbeit ist nicht nur ein umweltfreundlicher Ansatz, sondern auch eine wirtschaftlich sinnvolle Option, da sie sich mit den Untersuchungen zur Extraktion und effizienten Rückgewinnung von Metall-Ionen befasst.

Professor Dr. Sandeep R. Patil School of Engineering and Technology Navrachana University Vadodara-391410 India E-mail:


We are grateful to S.E.R.B-D.S.T. New Delhi, Government of India (Reference No. SBIFT/CS-083/2013) for financial support. We are also grateful to Dr. Matthias Hloucha, BASF, Düsseldorf, Germany for providing the sugar-based industrial-grade non-ionic surfactants. We are thankful to Prof. Nilay Yajnik, Provost, and Management of Navrachana University Vadodara for infrastructure facilities.


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Received: 2020-09-19
Accepted: 2020-12-27
Published Online: 2021-07-29
Published in Print: 2021-07-31

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