12. Liquid-liquid equilibrium in binary and ternary mixtures containing formaldehyde, water, methanol, methylal, and poly(oxymethylene) dimethyl ethers
Poly(oxymethylene) dimethyl ethers (OME) are an interesting class of oxygenated fuel components and solvents for the absorption of carbon dioxide. The chemical structure of OMEn is H3C–O–(CH2O)n–CH3 with n = 2 and the IUPAC names are methoxy(methoxymethoxy)methane (n = 2), 2,4,6,8-tetraoxanonane (n = 3), and 2,4,6,8,10-pentaoxaundecane (n = 4). This work studies the liquid-liquid equilibrium (LLE) in the binary systems (water + methylal), (water + OME2), (water + OME3), and (water + OME4) and the ternary systems (water + methanol + OME2), (water + methanol + OME3), (formaldehyde + water + OME2), (formaldehyde + water + OME3), and (water + methylal + OME2) in the temperature range 280 K – 340 K. The systems were studied by gas chromatographic- and titrimetric analysis of samples that were drawn from the coexisting liquid phases, as well by in situ analysis with a medium-field NMR spectrometer. The LLE was modeled by extending a UNIFAC-based activity coefficient model of the system (formaldehyde + water + methanol + methylal) from the literature. One new structural group is introduced to represent the OME.