Towards zero harmful discharge - Removal of heavy metals with new green solvents

Harmful discharge to the environment by oil and gas industry is of great concern.

Specifically, heavy metals are an unsolved problem of great environmental impact. This project aims at developing greener solvents and testing them in the laboratory for metal ions removal from produced water.

Heavy metals are among the hazardous components contained in the produced water. Heavy metal removal is required due to the toxicity for the aquatic environment. This project aims at developing greener solvents for metal removal from produced water.

Deep eutectic solvents (DES) consist of two or more solid components that have a depressed melting point when mixed in certain ratio. DES are composed of hydrogen bond donors (HBD) and acceptors (HBA).

There are numerous possibilities to create tailor-made deep eutectic solvents by choosing the right HBD and HBA for different applications and find the one with best performance.

In 2015 hydrophobic deep eutectic solvents (HDES) were first reported. This type of DES allows their application for liquid-liquid extraction of different compounds from water solutions.

This project will focus on designing new hydrophobic deep eutectic solvents for selective extraction of heavy metals from produced water through liquid-liquid extraction, the evaluation of the thermophysical properties of the solvents, and the determination of the efficiency for removal of metal ions.


Wei Yan
Associate Professor
DTU Chemistry
+45 45 25 23 79