Reprinted with permission from ACS Cent. Sci. 2021, 7 1908-1918. Copyright 2021 American Chemical Society.
October 25, 2021
ACS Cent. Sci. 2021, 7, 1908-1918
Solvent extraction is used widely for the separation and purification of strategic metal resources such as lanthanide elements. However, the similarity in physical and chemical properties makes it extremely difficult to separate lanthanide elements, particularly for these neighboring lanthanides. Researchers from the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and their collaborators observed unexpected preferential adsorption of light-lanthanide ions at air-water interface with the presence of water-soluble extractant in aqueous solution and revealed the antagonistic role played by ion–extractant complexation within the aqueous phase during the solvent extraction processes.