Influence of salts on the coexistence curve and protein partitioning in nonionic aqueous two-phase micellar systems

Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering. 2014;31(4):1057-1064 DOI 10.1590/0104-6632.20140314s00002677


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering

ISSN: 0104-6632 (Print); 1678-4383 (Online)

Publisher: Brazilian Society of Chemical Engineering

LCC Subject Category: Technology: Chemical technology: Chemical engineering

Country of publisher: Brazil

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML



A. M. Lopes (Universidade de São Paulo)
V. C. Santos-Ebinuma (Universidade Estadual Paulista)
A. Pessoa Júnior (Universidade de São Paulo)
C. O. Rangel-Yagui (Universidade de São Paulo)


Peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 12 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Aqueous two-phase micellar systems (ATPMS) can be exploited in separation science for the extraction/purification of desired biomolecules. Prior to phase separation the surfactant solution reaches a cloud point temperature, which is influenced by the presence of electrolytes. In this work, we provide an investigation on the cloud point behavior of the nonionic surfactant C10E4 in the presence of NaCl, Li2SO4 and KI. We also investigated the salts' influence on a model protein partitioning. NaCl and Li2SO4 promoted a depression of the cloud point. The order of salts and the concentration that decreased the cloud point was: Li2SO4 0.5 M > NaCl 0.5 M ≈ Li2SO4 0.2 M. On the other hand, 0.5 M KI dislocated the curve to higher cloud point values. For our model protein, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), partitioning experiments with 0.5 M NaCl or 0.2 M Li2SO4 at 13.85 ºC showed similar results, with K G6PD ~ 0.46. The lowest partition coefficient was obtained in the presence of 0.5 M KI (K G6PD = 0.12), with major recovery of the enzyme in the micelle-dilute phase (%Recovery = 90%). Our results show that choosing the correct salt to add to ATPMS may be useful to attain the desired partitioning conditions at more extreme temperatures. Furthermore, this system can be effective to separate a target biomolecule from fermented broth contaminants.