“Salting out” is a standard method for separating water-soluble organic compounds from water. In this method, adding a large amount of salt to the aqueous solution forces the organic compound out of the aqueous phase. However, the method can not be considered sustainable because it creates highly salty water. A greener alternative would be a method that allows reversible salting out. Herein, we describe aqueous solutions of switchable ionic strength. Aqueous solutions of a diamine in water have essentially zero ionic strength but are converted by CO2 into solutions of high ionic strength. The change is reversible. Application to the reversible salting out of THF from water is described.
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