Synthesis of fatty acid-based ammonium ionic liquids and their application for extraction of Co(II) and Ni(II) metals ions from aqueous solution

Tirath Raj, K. Chandrasekhar, Jungsu Park, Sunita Varjani, Pooja Sharma, Deepak Kumar, Jeong Jun Yoon, Ashok Pandey, Sang Hyoun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Leaching of cobalt and nickel into diverse water streams has become an environmental hazard and is continuously impacting human health through the food chain. Solvent extraction is the most widely accepted for separating these metals, but traditional extractants employed in conjunction with molecular diluents often lack selectivity and caused major environmental hurdles. Therefore, the development of cost-effective, environmentally friendly technologies for recovering these heavy metals has been strongly encouraged in recent years. Herein, two halogens free, low viscous, biocompatible fatty acid-based hydrophobic ionic liquids (ILs), i.e., methytrioctylammonium oleate, methytrioctylammonium linoleate were synthesized, analytically characterized and employed for recovery of cobalt, Co(II) and nickel, Ni(II) from their aqueous solutions. Extraction behaviour of Co(II) and Ni(II) was further evaluated by varying equilibrium time, ILs molar concentration, metal loading, and temperature. Thermodynamic parameters such as enthalpy change and Gibbs free energy change were also studied during extraction process. Slope analysis suggested that the extraction mechanism was an exothermic process that followed ion-transfer from the aqueous phase to the organic phase. Results showed that both fatty acid based–ILs were found to be capable of extracting >99% of Co(II) and Ni(II) from aqueous solutions at 298 K, in 15 min of shaking time using a 1:1 (org: aq.) ratio at low concentrations of 2.5–10 g L−1. Furthermore, for methyltrioctylammonium oleate IL, Co(II) extraction was selectively preferred over Ni(II) extraction when the metal concentration was increased to above to 10 g L−1. The stripping results showed that 2 M H2SO4, and 2 M HCl successfully stripped out >99% of Co(II) and Ni(II) from the organic phase, respectively compared to HNO3.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135787
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was performed at Yonsei university and was financially supported by Brain Pool Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT ( NRF-2020H1D3A1A04081081 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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