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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2010, 11(4), 1777-1791; doi:10.3390/ijms11041777

Extraction of Biomolecules Using Phosphonium-Based Ionic Liquids + K3PO4 Aqueous Biphasic Systems

1, 1, 1, 1, 1,2, 3 and 1,*
1 Departamento de Química, CICECO, Universidade de Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal 2 Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, UNL, Av. República, Ap. 127, 2780-901 Oeiras, Portugal 3 Laboratoire Haute Pression Centre Universitaire de Recherche Scientifique, Université de Pau, Avenue de l’Université, 64000 Pau, France
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 March 2010 / Revised: 13 April 2010 / Accepted: 13 April 2010 / Published: 15 April 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Green Chemistry and Sustainable Chemistry)
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Aqueous biphasic systems (ABS) provide an alternative and efficient approach for the extraction, recovery and purification of biomolecules through their partitioning between two liquid aqueous phases. In this work, the ability of hydrophilic phosphonium-based ionic liquids (ILs) to form ABS with aqueous K3PO4 solutions was evaluated for the first time. Ternary phase diagrams, and respective tie-lines and tie-lines length, formed by distinct phosphonium-based ILs, water, and K3PO4 at 298 K, were measured and are reported. The studied phosphonium-based ILs have shown to be more effective in promoting ABS compared to the imidazolium-based counterparts with similar anions. Moreover, the extractive capability of such systems was assessed for distinct biomolecules (including amino acids, food colourants and alkaloids). Densities and viscosities of both aqueous phases, at the mass fraction compositions used for the biomolecules extraction, were also determined. The evaluated IL-based ABS have been shown to be prospective extraction media, particularly for hydrophobic biomolecules, with several advantages over conventional polymer-inorganic salt ABS.
Keywords: ionic liquids; aqueous two-phase systems; phase diagrams; partition coefficients ionic liquids; aqueous two-phase systems; phase diagrams; partition coefficients
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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Louros, C.L.S.; Cláudio, A.F.M.; Neves, C.M.S.S.; Freire, M.G.; Marrucho, I.M.; Pauly, J.; Coutinho, J.A.P. Extraction of Biomolecules Using Phosphonium-Based Ionic Liquids + K3PO4 Aqueous Biphasic Systems. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2010, 11, 1777-1791.

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