A method for separating mixtures by exploiting differences in the solubilities of the components.
If a substance is shaken with two immisicible liquids, upon standing, the two layers will separate and the substance will be distributed between the two liquid layers. A greater concentration of the substance will be present in that solvent in which it is more soluble.
Solvent extraction is used on an industrial scale:
- Remove impurities from liquids
- Separating pure metals from their ores