A method for computing the solubility limit of solids: Application to sodium chloride in water and alcohols

AS Paluch and S Jayaraman and JK Shah and EJ Maginn, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 133, 124504 (2010).

DOI: 10.1063/1.3478539

We present an adaptable method to compute the solubility limit of solids by molecular simulation, which avoids the difficulty of reference state calculations. In this way, the method is highly adaptable to molecules of complex topology. Results are shown for solubility calculations of sodium chloride in water and light alcohols at atmospheric conditions. The pseudosupercritical path integration method is used to calculate the free energy of the solid and gives results that are in good agreement with previous studies that reference the Einstein crystal. For the solution phase calculations, the self-adaptive Wang-Landau transition- matrix Monte Carlo method is used within the context of an expanded isothermal-isobaric ensemble. The method shows rapid convergence properties and the uncertainty in the calculated chemical potential was 1% or less for all cases. The present study underpredicts the solubility limit of sodium chloride in water, suggesting a shortcoming of the molecular models. Importantly, the proper trend for the chemical potential in various solvents was captured, suggesting that relative solubilities can be computed by the method. (C) 2010 American Institute of Physics. doi: 10.1063/1.3478539

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