Poly(ethylene glycol)-based aqueous biphasic systems (PEG-ABSs) have been investigated as tunable reaction media, in the example presented here, to control the oxidation of cyclohexene to adipic acid with hydrogen peroxide. The production of adipic acid was found to increase from the monophasic to the biphasic regimes, was greatest at short tie-line lengths (close to the system's critical point), and demonstrates how control of the ABS media, through changes in system composition, PEG, salt, and tie-line length, can be used to readily tune and control reactivity and product isolation in these aqueous biphasic reactive extraction systems. Challenges in using this system, including possible oxidation reactions of the PEG-OH end groups, are also discussed.
Chen, J., Spear, S. K., Huddleston, J. G., Holbrey, J., Swatloski, R., & Rogers, R. D. (2004). Application of poly(ethylene glycol)-based aqueous biphasic systems as reaction and reactive extraction media. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 43(17), 5358-5364. https://doi.org/10.1021/ie0341496