Description: Hydrotropic salts, which can increase the solubility of organic materials in aqueous solutions, are useful to tertiary oil recovery. We have examined effects on solubility of hydrocarbons in water (with and without alcohols) through addition of inorganic hydrotropic salts, such as perchlorates, thiocyanates, and iodides - high in the usual Hofmeister series - and of organic salts such as short chain alkyl benzene sulfonates and other salts based on substituted benzene derivatives. Although the inorganic salts are relatively ineffective in increasing solubility of hydrocarbons in water, many of the organic salts are excellent hydrotropic agents for hydrocarbons. We have examined the phase relationships for several series of aromatic salts such as sulfonates, carboxylates and hydroxycarboxylates, as a function of alkyl-carbon substitution in three-component (hydrocarbon, salt, water) and in four-component (hydrocarbon, salt, alcohol, water) systems. We have also examined miscibility relationships for a given hydrotropic salt as the chain length of alkanes and alkyl benzenes is systematically varied. While miscibilities decrease with increase in chain length of the hydrocarbon, the hydrotropic properties in these systems increase rapidly with the number of alkyl carbons on the benzene ring of the salts and they are relatively insensitive to the type of charged group (sulfonate vs carboxylate) attached to the benzene ring. However, there were significant increases in hydrotropy as one goes from equally substituted sulfonates or carboxylates to salicylates. A number of salts have been identified which have much greater hydrotropic properties for hydrocarbons than such well-known hydrotropic materials as toluene and xylene sulfonates.
Date: January 1, 1980
Creator: Ho, P.C. & Kraus, K.A.
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