American Chemical Society
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Estimating Partition Coefficients for Fuel−Water Systems:  Developing Linear Solvation Energy Relationships Using Linear Solvent Strength Theory To Handle Mixtures

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journal contribution
posted on 2005-04-15, 00:00 authored by J. Samuel Arey, Philip M. Gschwend
In many environmental transport problems, organic solutes partition between immiscible phases that consist of liquid mixtures. To estimate the corresponding partition coefficients, we evaluated the efficacy of combining linear solvation energy relationships (LSERs) developed for pure 1:1 systems via application of linear solvent strength theory. In this way, existing LSERs could be extended to treat solute partitioning from gasoline, diesel fuel, and similar mixtures into contacting aqueous mixtures. Unlike other approaches, this method allowed prediction of liquid−liquid partition coefficients in a variety of fuel−water systems for a broad range of dilute solutes. When applied to 37 polar and nonpolar solutes partitioning between an aqueous mixture and 12 different fuel-like mixtures (many including oxygenates), the root-mean-squared error was a factor of ∼2.5 in the partition coefficient. This was considerably more accurate than application of Raoult's law for the same set of systems. Regulators and scientists could use this method to estimate fuel−water partition coefficients of novel additives in future fuel formulations and thereby provide key inputs for environmental transport assessments of these compounds.