I am mixing alkaline solutions ($\ce{Na2CO3}$) with crude oil containing carboxylic acids to create micro-emulsions. The carboxylic acids react with the alkaline moieties to create an in-situ surfactant which creates the micro-emulsion.

Up to here everything is going well. I produced the micro-emulsion I wanted. The next step is to have these micro-emulsions taking place when there are also contaminants ($\ce{Na+}$ and $\ce{Ca^2+}$) also present in the alkaline solutions, which prevent the micro-emulsion from forming.

I added EDTA to sequester the $\ce{Ca^2+}$ and it seems to have worked. What can I do about the $\ce{Na+}$?

  • $\begingroup$ This doesn't make sense - two parts of your question are self-contradictory. How sth you use to create emulsion would prevent it from forming. Btw. "micro" emulsion? $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Oct 13 '15 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ Not sure I understand entirely your question, but 15-crown-5 may be used to remove Na+ ions from a solution. $\endgroup$ – NotEvans. Oct 13 '15 at 19:43
  • $\begingroup$ I think he means emulsions with "micro-droplets". $\endgroup$ – MaxW May 6 at 1:08

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