Aqueous two-phase system based on hexafluoroisopropanol and acetonitrile for homogeneous liquid-liquid microextraction of cationic dyes

  • Vytautas Kavaliauskas
  • Audrius Padarauskas
Keywords: aqueous two-phase system, hexafluoroisopropanol, acetonitrile, microextraction, cationic dyes


This work demonstrates that an aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) is formed when a small amount of acetonitrile (ACN) is added to the aqueous hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP) solution. The effect of ACN amount on the volume of the formed HFIP/ACN phase was investigated. It was also shown that relatively hydrophilic methylene blue was completely extracted into the HFIP/ACN phase whereas its extractability with conventional solvents (hexane, CH2Cl2 and CHCl3) was significantly lower. The obtained results suggest that the HFIP/ACN phase exhibits a relatively high polarity and should be a good choice for the extraction of moderately or even highly polar compounds from aqueous samples. Finally, the developed ATPS was applied for the homogeneous liquidliquid microextraction of four cationic dyes from river water samples prior to HPLC analysis. Under optimised extraction conditions, the enrichment factors were around 150. Calibration curves were linear (R2 ≥ 0.9959) for the concentration level between 0.2–0.5 and 50.0 μg/L and the detection limits were in the range 0.05–0.18 μg/L. The recoveries of the dyes for the spiked water samples were 88.6–98.5%, with the relative standard deviation values less than 9.6%.

Analytical Chemistry