Temperature-dependent solubilities and mean ionic activity coefficients of alkali halides in water from molecular dynamics simulations

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Abstract

The mean ionic activity coefficients of aqueous KCl, NaF, NaI, and NaCl solutions of varying concentrations have been obtained from molecular dynamics simulations following a recently developed methodology based on gradual insertions of salt molecules [Z. Mester and A. Z. Panagiotopoulos, J. Chem. Phys. 142, 044507 (2015)]. The non-polarizable ion models of Weerasinghe and Smith [J. Chem. Phys. 119, 11342 (2003)], Gee et al. [J. Chem. Theory Comput. 7, 1369 (2011)], Reiser et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 140, 044504 (2014)], and Joung and Cheatham [J. Phys. Chem. B 112, 9020 (2008)] were used along with the extended simple point charge (SPC/E) water model [Berendsen et al., J. Phys. Chem. 91, 6269 (1987)] in the simulations. In addition to the chemical potentials in solution used to obtain the activity coefficients, we also calculated the chemical potentials of salt crystals and used them to obtain the solubility of these alkali halide models in SPC/E water. The models of Weerasinghe and Smith [J. Chem. Phys. 119, 11342 (2003)] and Gee et al. [J. Chem. Theory Comput. 7, 1369 (2011)] provide excellent predictions of the mean ionic activity coefficients at 298.15 K and 1 bar, but significantly underpredict or overpredict the solubilities. The other two models generally predicted the mean ionic activity coefficients only qualitatively. With the exception of NaF for which the solubility is significantly overpredicted, the model of Joung and Cheatham predicts salt solubilities that are approximately 40%-60% of the experimental values. The models of Reiser et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 140, 044504 (2014)] make good predictions for the NaCl and NaI solubilities, but significantly underpredict the solubilities for KCl and NaF. We also tested the transferability of the models to temperatures much higher than were used to parametrize them by performing simulations for NaCl at 373.15 K and 1 bar, and at 473.15 K and 15.5 bar. All models overpredict the drop in the values of mean ionic activity coefficients with increased temperature seen in experiments. The present results, together with earlier calculations for a number of models for NaCl aqueous solutions at 298.15 K, point to the strong need for development of improved intermolecular potential models for classical simulations of electrolyte solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044505
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume143
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 28 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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