Could solvent extraction effectively remove salt from water?

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ncchemist eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Solvent extraction is a form of liquid-liquid extraction.  You can use this technique to remove a chemical from one solvent medium to another.  Generally, the two solvents used are water and another organic solvent that is not miscible in water (ether, ethyl acetate, hexane, etc.).  It is commonly used to remove organic chemicals from an aqueous mixture.  If you are talking about NaCl when you say salt, then I cannot imagine an extraction situation that would remove salt from water.  This is mostly because water is about the most polar solvent we have and no other solvent, especially one that is not miscible with water, would dissolve salt nearly as well.  In fact, saltwater solutions are used to extract trace amounts of water from organic solvents.  So the answer to your question is no.

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