Metal Extraction using ionic liquid [P8888][Oleate], Evidence of Hofmeister effect

(location: Wetsus, Leeuwarden)


The water purification companies, chemical and mining industries produce numerous aqueous streams polluted with valuable (heavy) metal salts. Economically and technically, it is challenging to remove these impurities from the water before reuse or discharge. Furthermore, it is challenging to selectively separate the different metal salts from each other in order to recover them from the water at a high value. The idea in this proposal is to understand the affinity of metal ions to transfer for aqueous phase to organic phase (i.e. ionic liquid). Some studies shows that this is related to the difference in hydration energy and some related it to hofmeister effect.

Accordingly in this BSc-project we are try to understand molecular interactions between the organic phase, aqueous phase and the extracted salts. In order to do so, we are going to perform various experiments to test the affinity of different anions and cations to move to the organic phase and their effect on the extraction of transition metals such as cobalt.


  1. Literature review of metal extraction/regeneration process from waste water using ionic liquid.
  2. Literature review of hofmeister effect on metal extraction using ionic liquid.
  3. Synthesize ionic liquid and testing extraction ability of the selected salt (currently [P8888][Oleate] is used).
  4. Perform liquid-liquid extraction of cobalt from different medium (anion: sulfate and perchlorate)
  5. Perform liquid-liquid extraction for different cations such NH4+, K+, Li+, Mg2+ and Ca2+).
  6. Obtaining the extraction efficiency, distribution factor and selectivity for all the performed experiments.
  7. Write a thesis.


  • You have a chemistry/ chemical engineering background.
  • You are able to work independently and you have good analytical and experimental skills
  • You are fluent in English (speaking and writing) and are willing to work in an international environment

Location and salary:

  • Location: Wetsus, European center of excellence for sustainable water technology in Leeuwarden, Netherlands.
  • Salary : 350 € per month

Contact details:

 Ir. Enas Othman, MSc,. Email: enas.othman(at) or Louis van der Ham (SPT) a.g.j.vanderham(at)