Distribution constants are useful as they allow the calculation of the concentration of remaining analyte in the solution, even after a number of solvent extractions have occurred. They also provide guidance in choosing the most efficient way to conduct an extractive separation.
Thus, the concentration of A remaining in an aqueous solution after i extractions with an organic solvent can be found using:
(where [A]i is the concentration of A remaining after extracting Vaqmillilitres of solution with the original concentration of [A]0 with i portions of the organic solvent, each with a volume of Vorg).
^Rice, N. M.; Irving, H. M. N. H.; Leonard, M. A. (1993), "Nomenclature for liquid-liquid distribution (solvent extraction) (IUPAC Recommendations 1993)", Pure and Applied Chemistry, 65 (11): 2373, doi:10.1351/pac199365112373