Odd-even effect on the formation of aqueous biphasic systems formed by 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ionic liquids and salts

Diana C. V. Belchior, Tânia E. Sintra, Pedro J. Carvalho, Mário R.C. Soromenho, José M. S. S. Esperança, Sónia P. M. Ventura, Robin D. Rogers, João A. P. Coutinho, Mara G. Freire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This work provides a comprehensive evaluation of the effect of the cation alkyl side chain length of the 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride series ([CnC1im]Cl, n = 2-14) of ionic liquids (ILs) on their capability to form aqueous biphasic systems (ABSs) with salts and self-aggregation derived properties. The liquid-liquid phase behavior of ternary systems composed of [CnC1im]Cl, water, and K3PO4 or K2CO3 and the respective Setschenow salting-out coefficients (ks), a quantitative measure of the two-phase formation ability, were determined. An odd-even effect in the ks values along the number of methylene groups of the longest IL cation alkyl side chain was identified for the ABS formed by K2CO3, a weaker salting-out agent where the phenomenon is clearly identified. In general, cations with even alkyl side chains, being likely to display higher molar volumes, are more easily salted-out and thus more prone to undergo phase separation. The odd-even effect in the ks values is, however, more significant in ILs up to n = 6, where the nanostructuration/nanosegregation of ILs plays a less relevant role. Still, with the [CnC1im]Cl (n = 7-14) series of ILs, an odd-even effect was also identified in the ILs' ionization degree, molar conductivity, and conductivity at infinite dilution. In summary, it is shown here that the ILs' odd-even effect occurs in IL aqueous solutions and not just in neat ILs, an already well-established phenomenon occurring in a series of ILs' properties described as a result of the orientation of the terminal methyl groups to the imidazolium ring cation and consequent effect in the ILs' cohesive energy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number193842
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2018


  • Solvent extraction
  • Ionic liquids
  • Binodal curves


Dive into the research topics of 'Odd-even effect on the formation of aqueous biphasic systems formed by 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ionic liquids and salts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this