The 16th International Symposium on Solubility Phenomena and Related Equilibrium Processes (ISSP-16) was held 21-25 July 2014, in Karlsruhe (Germany). The IUPAC-sponsored symposium was organized by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s Institute for Nuclear Waste Disposal (KIT-INE), with Dr. Marcus Altmaier acting as conference chair and Dr. Susanne Fanghänel as conference secretary. In conjunction with ISSP-16, the 13th annual meeting of the IUPAC Subcommittee on Solubility and Equilibrium Data (SSED) was held on 20 July, chaired by Clara Magalhães.
The International Symposium on Solubility Phenomena and Related Equilibrium Processes (ISSP) is an established bi-annual symposium gathering international experts on solubility studies to exchange new research and concepts. ISSP-16 in Karlsruhe successfully followed a series of previous meetings, the most recent being ISSP-15 (2012, Xining, China), ISSP-14 (2010, Leoben, Austria), and ISSP-13 (2008, Dublin, Ireland).
ISSP-16 was a very positive contribution to the ISSP conference series, with 116 participants from 24 countries (Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and USA), as well as the European Commission.
ISSP-16 addressed the general importance of solubility phenomena in a variety of different settings, ranging from green chemistry to nuclear waste disposal and modern technical applications. The meeting featured a wide agenda of topics, specifically highlighting the importance of chemical thermodynamics and solubility studies both in fundamental and applied science. Invited and contributed oral and poster presentations ranged from basic equilibrium measurements to advanced theoretical predictions. ISSP-16 offered a dedicated scientific platform for presenting, discussing and promoting the study of solubility phenomena and related equilibrium processes, and it received very positive feedback from the attendees.
The conference was divided into specific sessions to allow clear focus on topics of key interest. Session topics were:
· Investigation and analytics of aqueous speciation
· Aqueous solutions at high ionic strength
· Kinetics of phase transformations
· Molten salts and ionic liquids
· Effects of solute-solvent interactions on solubility phenomena
· Solubility phenomena in technical and industrial applications
· Computer assisted equilibrium calculations and related thermodynamic databases
ISSP-16 invited distinguished plenary lecturers to introduce main topics. Lecturers were: (in alphabetical order): M. Filella, University Geneva, Switzerland, “Solubility seen from an environmental chemist’s point of view: caveats and needs”; H. Gamsjäger, University Leoben, Austria, “Thermodynamic properties of molybdate ion: reaction cycles and experiments”; I. Grenthe, KTH, Sweden, “Solid phases, structures and solution chemistry - what type of molecular insights do they provide?”; W. Runde, Los Alamos National Laboratories, USA, “Actinide chemistry in chloride brine solutions”; W. Voigt, Technical University Freiberg, Germany, “What we know and still not know about oceanic salts”.
Within ISSP-16, two Franzosini awards (supported by IUPAC-SSED) were presented, given to M. Bendová, Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals Prague, Czech Republic, and S. Gadzuric, University Novi Sad, Serbia. The laureates awardees introduced their work with invited talks on “Liquid phase behaviour in systems containing ionic liquids: can ‘old-fashioned‘ experiments enable us to understand their properties and structure?” (Bendová) and “Thermodynamics of lanthanide halide + alkali halide binary mixtures: experimental and chemometric study” (Gadzuric).
Reflecting the specific profile focus of the Institute of Nuclear Waste Disposal at KIT, and highlighting a topic of wide international relevance and importance, a half-day workshop on “Solubility and Speciation in Nuclear Waste Disposal” was held. With a strong emphasis on (geo)chemical concepts in nuclear waste disposal, special attention was given to discuss solubility, speciation and thermodynamic data/geochemical modeling. The application of advanced spectroscopy and analytical techniques was highlighted as a key tool for the definition of accurate chemical models and solubility studies in general.
ISSP-16 was sponsored by IUPAC, the NUSAFE programme of HGF (Germany), and the BASF company.
Selected contributions from the conference will be published in a special volume dedicated to ISSP-16, scheduled to appear in Pure and Applied Chemistry in 2015. The 17th ISSP conference is scheduled for July 2016 at the University of Geneve (Switzerland); precise dates still to be confirmed.