## Abstract

The Edmond-Ogston model for phase separation is extended to ternary polymer mixtures in a common solvent (de facto a quaternary mixture). The model assumes a truncated virial expansion of the Helmholtz free energy up to the second-order terms in the concentration of the polymers, and the second virial coefficients (B_{11}, B_{22}, B_{33}, B_{12}, B_{13}, B_{23}) are the six parameters of the model. New results from this model are presented in relation to earlier work on binary mixtures: a necessary condition for the virial coefficients for the occurrence of phase separation in two or three phases, an analysis of the different regions of (local) thermodynamic instability using the Descartes sign rule, an expression for the critical curves, a relation between the tangents in points along the critical curve, a relation between the concentration of components in the different phases according to the so-called Lambert-W function, and a consistency check for the composition of coexisting phases in ternary mixtures. The obtained results are evaluated in the maximally symmetric version of the model, where (B_{11}, B_{22}, B_{33}) are equal and (B_{12}, B_{13}, B_{23}) are equal, which leads to two remarkable observations: the concentration range over which two phases are formed is relatively narrow; not all phase separation occurs within a Gibbs triangle, but also, “out-of-Gibbs-triangle” binodals are observed. These results lead to a deeper insight into the phase behavior of ternary mixtures and show promise as a stepping stone toward modeling phase separation in mixtures with many components.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 28387-28408 |

Number of pages | 22 |

Journal | ACS Omega |

Volume | 8 |

Issue number | 31 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 8 Aug 2023 |