Canadian journal of chemical engineering vol:75 issue:6 pages:1056-1066
In order to investigate the influence of solute transfer and of surface active agents on the drop breakage process in liquid-liquid extraction columns, their effect on the interfacial tension has to be studied in detail. The difficulty encountered is that the interfacial tension during solute transfer continuously changes and that no simple apparatus is commercially available which can measure these varying interfacial tension values. An attempt has been made here to theoretically predict them. The equations developed to predict the interfacial tension variation can be combined with a model for the breakage process and hence drop size distributions can be calculated from stage to stage. Applying a new combined film mass transfer coefficient model which takes into account the effect of contaminants, single drop extraction performance has been calculated for simplified conditions of constant bulk concentration in the continuous phase. Calculated efficiencies have been compared with experimental data and a good simulation of contaminant effects and dependency on drop size has been found. The calculations were restricted to low dispersed phase hold-up values, so that coalescence effects could be ignored. This work provides the required support for a procedure to be applied to counter-current flow extraction columns.