Application of the cubic-plus-association (CPA) equation of state to model the fluid phase behaviour of binary mixtures of water and tetrahydrofuran

Peter Jørgensen Herslund, Kaj Thomsen, Jens Abildskov, Nicolas von Solms

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The complex fluid phase behaviour, of the binary system comprised of water and tetrahydrofuran (THF) is modelled by use of the cubic-plus-association (CPA) equation of state. A total of seven modelling approaches are analysed, differing only in their way of describing THF and its interactions (hydrogen bonding) with water.The qualitative behaviour of the fluid phase equilibria in this system can only be described by CPA when cross-association between water and THF is allowed.Six of the seven tested modelling scenarios allow for cross-association between the two compounds. These scenarios are named Case 2 to Case 7. Case 2 treats THF as non self-associating, but applies a single association site on the THF oxygen atom, that allows for cross-linking with a single water molecule. Case 3 is identical to Case 2 but applies two association sites on THF, allowing for simultaneous cross-association with two water molecules. Case 4 treats THF as self-associating and cross-associating according to an association scheme with two electron accepting sites and a single electron donating site. Case 5 also considers both self- and cross-association by THF, but applies an association scheme with two electron accepting- and two electron donating sites.Cases 6 and 7 are similar to Cases 4 and 5, respectively, however the binary cross-association volume between electron accepting sites on water and electron donating sites on THF is adjusted to match the CPA descriptions with available experimental VLE data.It is found that Cases 2, 3, 6 and 7 (when applying three adjustable binary parameters), are the only cases, which can describe both VLE and LLE using a single set of parameters. With a total of three binary parameters correlated to available VLE data, these data may be described with average absolute deviations of approximately 5–7 percent. The LLE is well predicted by both model Cases 2 and 3, with a slightly better phase composition prediction by Case 3.While Cases 6 and 7 describe VLE data better than the cases treating THF as solvating, the LLE is less accurately described.Based on the results presented in this work, it is suggested to model this binary system considering THF as cross-associating only, with two cross-association sites. The use of a temperature dependent binary interaction parameter and a correlated binary cross-association volume then allows for both accurate VLE and LLE descriptions in large ranges of temperature and pressure.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFluid Phase Equilibria
Pages (from-to)209-222
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Fluid phase behaviour
  • Aqueous
  • Tetrahydrofuran
  • Modelling
  • Cubic-plus-association (CPA)
  • Thermodynamics


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