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.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Schlünder, E.-H., and Thurner, F., 1986, Destillation, Absorption, Extraktion, Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart, Germany, Chap. 3.
Li, S., Jing, S., Luo, Q., Chen, J., and Luo, G., 2012, “Bionic System for Countercurrent Multi-Stage Micro-Extraction,” RSC Adv., 2, pp. 10,817–10,820. [CrossRef]
Chasanis, P., Kern, J., Grünewald, M., and Kenig, E. Y., 2010, “Mikrotrenntechnik: Entwicklungsstand und Perspektiven,” Chem. Ing. Techn., 82(3), pp. 215–228. [CrossRef]
Wojik, A., and Marr, A., 2005, “Mikroverfahrenstechnische Prinzipien in der Flüssig/Flüssig-Extraktion,” Chem. Ing. Techn., 77(6), pp. 653–668. [CrossRef]
Aota, A., Nonaka, M., Hibara, A., and Kitamori, T., 2007, “Countercurrent Laminar Microflow for Highly Efficient Solvent Extraction,” Angew. Chem., 46, pp. 878–880. [CrossRef]
TeGrotenhius, W. E., Cameron, R. J., Butcher, M. G., Martin, P. M., and Wegeng, R. S., 1999, “Microchannel Devices for Efficient Contacting of Liquids in Solvent Extraction,” Sep. Sci. Technol., 34, pp. 951–974. [CrossRef]
Xu, J. H., Tan, J., Li, S. W., and Luo, G. S., 2008, “Enhancement of Mass Transfer Performance of Liquid-Liquid System by Droplet Flow in Microchannels,” Chem. Eng. J., 141, pp. 242–249. [CrossRef]
Assmann, N., Ładosz, A., and Rudolf von Rohr, P., 2013, “Continuous Micro Liquid-Liquid Extraction,” Chem. Eng. Technol., 36(6), pp. 921–936. [CrossRef]
Okubo, Y., Toma, M., Ueda, H., Maki, T., and Mae, K., 2004, “Microchannel Devices for the Coalescence of Dispersed Droplets Produced for use in Rapid Extraction Processes,” Chem. Eng. J., 101, pp. 39–48. [CrossRef]
Yang, L., Zhao, Y., Su, Y., and Chen, G., 2013, “An Experimental Study of Copper Extraction in a T-Junction Microchannel,” Chem. Eng. Technol., 36(6), pp. 985–992. [CrossRef]
Hotokezaka, H., Tokeshi, M., Harada, M., Kitamori, T., and Ikeda, Y., 2004, “Development of the Innovative Nuclide Separation System for High-Level Radioactive Waste Using Microchannel Chip—Extraction Behaviour of Metal Ions From Aqueous Phase to Organic Phase in Microchannel,” Proceedings of the 1st COE-INES International Symposium, Research Laboratory for Nuclear Reactors Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo.
Kim, H.-B., Ueno, K., Chiba, M., Gogi, O., and Kitamura, N., 2000, “Spatially-Resolved Fluorescence Spectroscopic Study on Liquid-Liquid Extraction Process in Polymer Michrochannels,” Anal. Sci., 16, pp. 871–876. [CrossRef]
Žnidaršič-Plazl, P., and Plazl, I., 2007, “Steroid Extraction in a Microchannel System—Mathematical Modelling and Experiments,” Lab Chip, 7, pp. 883–889. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Fries, D. M., Voitl, T., and Rudolf von Rohr, P., 2008, “Liquid Extraction of Vanillin in Rectangular Microreactors,” Chem. Eng. Technol., 31(8), pp. 1182–1187. [CrossRef]
Tokeshi, M., Minagawa, T., and Kitamori, T., 2000, “Integration of a Microextraction System. Solvent Extraction of a Co–2-Nitroso-5-Dimethylaminophenol Complex on a Microchip,” J. Chromat. A, 894, pp. 19–23. [CrossRef]
Hisamoto, H., Horiuchi, T., Tokeshi, M., Hibara, A., and Kitamori, T., 2001, “On-Chip Integration of Neutral Ionophore-Based Ion Pair Extraction Reaction,” Anal. Chem., 73(6), pp. 1382–1386. [CrossRef]
Wu, Y., Li, W., Gao, H., Li, Q., Li, Y., Wang, K., Mahmood, I., and Liu, H., 2010, “A Novel Continuous Re-Extraction Procedure of Penicillin G by a Micro-Extractor Based on Ceramic Membrane,” J. Membrane Sci., 347, pp. 17–25. [CrossRef]
Hellé, G., Mariet, C., and Cote, G., 2012, “Microfluidic Tools for the Liquid-Liquid Extraction of Radionuclides in Analytical Procedures,” Procedia Chem., 7, pp. 679–684. [CrossRef]
Günther, A., and Jensen, K. F., 2006, “Multiphase Microfluidics: From Flow Characteristics to Chemical and Material Synthesis,” Lab Chip, 6, pp. 1487–1503. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Holbach, A., and Kockmann, N., 2013, “Counter-Current Arrangement of Microfluidic Liquid-Liquid Droplet Flow Contactors,” Green Proc. Synth., 2, pp. 157–167. [CrossRef]
Cai, Z.-X., Fang, Q., Chen, H.-W., and Fang, Z.-W., 2006, “A Microfluidic Chip Based Liquid-Liquid Extraction System With Microporous Membrane,” Anal. Chim. Acta, 556, pp. 151–156. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Hessel, V., Renken, A., Schouten, J. C., and Yoshida, J.-I., eds., 2009, Micro Process Engineering. A Comprehensive Handbook. Volume 1: Fundamentals, Operations and Catalysts, Wiley, New York, Chap. 1.
Gaakeer, W. A., de Croon, M. H. J. M., van der Schaaf, J., and Schouten, J. C., 2012, “Liquid-Liquid Slug Flow Separation in a Slit Shaped Micro Device,” Chem. Eng. J., 207–208, pp. 440–444. [CrossRef]
Kralj, J. G., Sahoo, H. R., and Jensen, K. F., 2006, “Integrated Continuous Microfluidic Liquid-Liquid Extraction,” Lab Chip, 7, pp. 256–263. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Kashid, M. N., Harshe, Y. M., and Agar, D. W., 2007, “Liquid–Liquid Slug Flow in a Capillary: An Alternative to Suspended Drop or Film Contactors,” Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 46, pp. 8420–8430. [CrossRef]
Lavie, R., 2008, “Thin Layer Extraction—A novel Liquid-Liquid Extraction Method,” AIChE J., 54(4), pp. 957–964. [CrossRef]
Kockmann, N., 2006, “Process Engineering Methods and Microsystem Technology,” Micro Process Engineering. Fundamentals, Devices, Fabrication, and Applications. Volume 5: Advanced Micro & Nanosystems, N.Kockmann, ed., Wiley, New York, Chap. 1.


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

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

Grahic Jump Location
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]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Schematic structure of membrane separation [24]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Separation with Y-splitter [25]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Separation using capillary forces and different wettable materials [23]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Schematic structure of coalescence microdevice [9]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Schematic structure of phase separation using gravity [20]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Picture of two stage countercurrent arrangement [20]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Scheme of one TLX cell [26]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Scheme of tree stage rotary TLX column [26]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Scheme combination of micro and macrodevices [27]



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In