Liquid-liquid extractions of sodium and potassium picrates with naphtho-15-crown-5 (N15C5) into 1,2-dichloroethane are studied, in order to clarify the factors governing the high potassium ion selectivity of the N15C5-based membrane electrode. The distribution coefficient of N15C5 between water and 1,2-dichloroethane was 1800 at 15°C. The formation constants of the complexes of N15C5 with the sodium ion and the potassium ion in the aqueous phase were less than unity and there was no remarkable difference between their values. Potassium picrate was mainly extracted into 1,2-dichloroethane by forming the 2:1 N15C5-potassium complex, while sodium picrate was extracted by forming the 1:1 complex. The extraction constants for sodium picrate and potassium picrate were 103.86 and 107.61, respectively, The high potassium selectivity is concluded to be due to the high extractability of the 2:1 potassium complex.
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