Abstract : Molecular dynamics simulations reported herein provide new important insights into cation recognition and complexation in solution as well as liquid-liquid extraction, with a particular focus on the microscopic events taking place at the interface between two immiscible liquids. Preliminary studies concerned the representation of the trivalent rare earth cations La3+, Eu3+ and Yb3+ in force field simulations, probing structural and energetic features on an experimentally characterized model system based on substituted pyridine dicarboxamide ligands. Complexation of such cations by a novel calixarene derivative was investigated showing unexpected features, such as the position of the cation in the complex. Independent experimental studies published subsequently support these findings. Another part of the work is related to industrial liquid-liquid extraction systems using tri-n-butyl phosphate (TBP) as co-solvent, extractant, surfactant and synergist. We investigate 1) concentration effects simulating up to 60 TBP at a water/chloroform interface, 2) acidity using a neutral and ionic model of HNO3 and 3) synergistic aspects of mixed TBP/calixarene extraction systems. These simulations provide the first microscopic insights into such issues. We finally addressed the topic of solute transfer across the water/chloroform interface. The potential of mean force for such a process has been calculated by both standard methods and novel approaches.