Jordana Benfica

Jordana Benfica
University of Aveiro | UA · Departament of Chemistry

PhD Student in Chemical Engineering


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Jordana Benfica graduated in Chemical Engineering, currently PhD student in Chemical Engineering at University of Aveiro (UA). Jordana does research on Thermodynamics, Separation Processes and Extraction and Purification Processes. His most recent project is the hydrotropy effect on bio-based solvents.
February 2018 - July 2019
Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV)
Field of study
  • Chemical Engineering


Publications (11)
Levodopa (L-dopa) is an amino acid precursor of the catecholamines dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine, which can be used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Levodopa is present in several vegetable sources, such as Mucuna pruriens seeds. However, the extraction of levodopa from vegetable matrices is usually carried out with volatile orga...
A recent proposal attributes the origin of hydrotropy to the water-mediated aggregation of hydrotrope molecules around the solute. Experimental evidence for this phenomenon is reported for the first time in this work, using 1H-NMR. A new computational technique to quantify apolarity is introduced and is used to show that apolarity of both solute an...
Cyrene is an emerging bio-based green solvent that has been shown to have the ability to increase the solubility of hydrophobic substances in water. Even though the water-Cyrene system is an attractive solvent, its applications are hampered by difficulties in the understanding of its solvation mechanism, caused by a delicate chemical equilibrium es...
Cyrene, a recently introduced bio-based green solvent, behaves as a hydrotrope, greatly increasing the aqueous solubility of hydrophobic substances in water. Moreover, water, when present in small quantities, has also been shown to increase the solubility of hydrophobic substances in Cyrene. Albeit of large practical importance, the understanding o...
Levodopa is an amino acid commonly used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease found in several plants, such as Mucuna pruriens. The extraction of levodopa from biomass has been achieved using methanol, ethanol:water mixtures in presence of ascorbic acid, chloroform in alkaline media, and acetonitrile. Aiming at finding more sustainable solvents a...
Hydrotropy is a well-established strategy to enhance the aqueous solubility of hydrophobic drugs, facilitating their formulation for oral and dermal delivery. However, most hydrotropes studied so far possess toxicity issues and are inefficient, with large amounts being needed to achieve significant solubility increases. Inspired by recent developme...
The efficiency of an ionic hydrotrope is shown to increase with the hydrophobicity of its counterion, challenging the common view that ionic hydrotropes should possess a small, densely charged counterion such as sodium or chloride.


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