Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Workshop / Seminar

Department of Chemistry – Oral Preliminary Examination

Zoom Only

About the event

Title: Role of Electrolytes and Interfacial Metal Complexation In Solvent Extraction Mechanisms

Nitesh Kumar: (A. Clark Group)

Abstract: Solvent extraction is a standard method of solute separation and purification in the fields of chemistry, engineering and industry, where a solute distributes from one liquid phase to another based on the favorability of solvation free energies between the two phases. The actual extraction mechanisms involved in solvent extraction are still unknown. This is mainly due to a lack of experimental capabilities to probe biphasic fluidic interfaces and to characterize ion speciation, complexation, and adsorption phenomenon that occurs within the heterogeneous regions of the liquid/liquid interface. The extraction mechanisms of metal ions in solvent extraction involve variations in ion···solvent···extractant adduct formation and perturbations in free energy of the adduct as it passes from one phase to another. The formation of the adduct is influenced by specific ion adsorption of background electrolyte which causes interfacial concentration gradients, specific to the size and charge density of the electrolyte ions. The speciation and dynamics of the metal ions  (M^(n+))  in the presence of the ion concentration gradients is scarcely known. This proposal is designed to understand interfacial speciation of Lanthanide (Ln) and Actinide (An) ions and to elucidate their ion extraction mechanisms. To do this, the proposal is divided into three major tasks and multiple sub-tasks. In Task 1, the complexation and speciation of Ln and An ions with background electrolytes will be studied in the crest and trough regions of the instantaneous biphasic interfaces as a function of ion concentration gradients, the properties of the background electrolyte, as well as the effect of organic diluent polarity. Task 2 will improve the fundamental understanding of the phase transfer mechanisms of the background electrolyte and M^(n+)  using an amphiphilic extractant. This task will allow us to create a better understanding of how the heterogeneity of the interface is related to the M^(n+)  extraction. Task 3 focuses on the elucidation of topological descriptors to describe microscopic heterogeneity and the surface morphology within the interfacial region. In combination, these three Tasks will elucidate a microscopic understanding of the interfacial molecular organization, kinetics, and phase transfer mechanisms involved in the solvent extraction, in turn, enabling controlled molecular extraction and design strategies.

Zoom info:

When: Friday, February 26, 2021 10:15 AM-1:00 PM.


Important Note: Both internal and external WSU meeting attendees must be signed into Zoom to join the meeting.

Please refer to this guide on Joining WSU Zoom Meetings before trying to join the meeting:

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android:

Meeting ID: 913 3232 4479

Passcode: 994135

Date & Time: Feb 26, 2021 10:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join from WSU Conference Room System (Polycom)

    1. Using the touch panel, or remote control,  select ‘Place a Call’

    2. Enter the IP Address including periods:

    3. Press the pound key twice ‘##’

    4. Enter the Meeting ID: 913 3232 4479

    5. Press ‘Call’

    6. Enter Passcode: 994135

Join from Conference Room System with SIP

Share Screen/Content Wirelessly

Go to and enter Meeting ID: 913 3232 4479 Phone Call (long distance)

+1 253 215 8782

+12532158782,,91332324479# US (One Tap Mobile Call)

 Find your international phone number:

For technical support with WSU conference rooms, contact your local IT team

For support or feature requests, please go to