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Liquid-Liquid Extraction: Generating Equilibrium Data

By Don Glatz, Brendan Cross and Tom Lightfoot, Koch Modular Process Systems |

Equilibrium data and related information gathered from a liquid-liquid extraction laboratory “shake test” can provide information for process feasibility and column-type selection in the scaleup of liquid-liquid extraction processes Most chemical engineers have had the experience of dealing with problematic separations, and most have a general understanding of distillation processes. When it comes to liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) processes (Figure 1), however, the details of how these processes work are often less clear. Most academic chemical engineering degree programs do not heavily emphasize liquid-liquid extraction, and most chemical engineering graduates did not receive more than a few days of instruction on generating equilibrium data for LLE in their degree programs. Figure 1. Commercial-scale liquid-liquid extraction processes often transfer solutes from an aqueous phase to a solvent[/caption] This article is focused on going “behind the scenes” and revealing more about the earliest stages of generating LLE equilibrium data. It describes how to perform a series of laboratory “shake tests” to calculate LLE equilibrium data. Furthermore, the article explains how to use those data to determine the type of column…
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