Research Papers: Fundamental Issues and Canonical Flows

Counter-Current Extraction in Microchannel Flow: Current Status and Perspectives

[+] Author and Article Information
Dimitri Jaritsch

Biochemical and Chemical Engineering,
Equipment Design,
TU Dortmund,
Emil-Figge-Straße 68,
Dortmund 44227, Germany
e-mail: dimitri.jaritsch@bci.tu-dortmund.de

Alexander Holbach

Biochemical and Chemical Engineering,
Equipment Design,
TU Dortmund,
Emil-Figge-Straße 68,
Dortmund 44227, Germany
e-mail: alexander.holbach@bci.tu-dortmund.de

Norbert Kockmann

Biochemical and Chemical Engineering,
Equipment Design,
TU Dortmund,
Emil-Figge-Straße 68,
Dortmund 44227, Germany
e-mail: norbert.kockmann@bci.tu-dortmund.de

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received September 5, 2013; final manuscript received January 26, 2014; published online July 9, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Prashanta Dutta.

J. Fluids Eng 136(9), 091211 (Jul 09, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: FE-13-1537; doi: 10.1115/1.4026608 History: Received September 05, 2013; Revised January 26, 2014

Liquid-liquid extraction is one of the most important unit operations with a broad field of applications. During the past few years, research activities have been increasing in the area of microextraction due to the evident advantages of microchannel equipment. While there is a sweeping number of publications on the topic of the procedure of microextraction using cocurrent flow, there are still some difficulties in accomplishing multistage processes as the countercurrent extraction, such as mixer-settler arrangements. This is due to the fact that it is difficult to achieve a continuous stable phase separation with high throughput. Additionally, it is also challenging to balance the pressure loss with micropumps after every stage. Both of these processes are essential for the countercurrent extraction and, therefore, at the current state of affairs, they pose a bottleneck. This field of research bears a high development potential in order to improve these processes using microchannel equipment and to realize a multistage countercurrent extraction with high effectiveness. In this paper, different phase separation devices and their particular separation principles are presented whereas the focus lies on the continuous separation. Additionally, some experimental as well as theoretical concepts for the conduct of a multistage countercurrent extraction are outlined.

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Fig. 1

Overview of literature studies on microscale extraction. References cited only in the figure are [15-18].

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Fig. 2

Inertial, viscous, and gravitational body forces, relative to interfacial forces, as a function of the channel size and characteristic velocity in microfluidic multiphase systems, adapted from Günther and Jensen [19]

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Fig. 3

Schematic structure of membrane separation [24]

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Fig. 4

Separation with Y-splitter [25]

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Fig. 5

Separation using capillary forces and different wettable materials [23]

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Fig. 6

Schematic structure of coalescence microdevice [9]

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Fig. 7

Schematic structure of phase separation using gravity [20]

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Fig. 8

Picture of two stage countercurrent arrangement [20]

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Fig. 9

Scheme of one TLX cell [26]

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Fig. 10

Scheme of tree stage rotary TLX column [26]

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Fig. 11

Scheme combination of micro and macrodevices [27]




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