Hydrodynamics and mass transfer in Kühni extraction columns Technical paper

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Milan Nikola Sovilj
Momčilo Spasojević


This work provides a review of hydrodynamic characteristics and mass transfer in the Kühni extraction columns. The experiments, as reported in the literature, were performed in the presence and absence of mass transfer. The results showed that the Sauter mean drop diameter was strongly affected by the rotor speed and interfacial tension, whereas the effects of the dispersed and continuous velocities were negligible. Empirical correlations for the Sauter mean drop diameter, taken from the literature, were discussed. It was experimentally determined that the dispersed-phase holdup depended to a great extent on the rotor speed, mass transfer direction between the phases, physical characteristics of fluids in the liquid-liquid system, and the dispersed-phase flowrate whereas it increased with the increase in mixing in the two-phase system and the ratio of phase flowrates. On the other hand, it has been shown that the mass transfer rate increases with increasing the level of back mixing. It was found that the mass transfer coefficient depends on the rotor speed and the direction of mass transfer between the phases. At the same time, it has been shown that the mass transfer coefficient depends relatively little on the phase flowrates. An empirical correlation was proposed for prediction of the overall mass transfer coefficient based on dimensionless numbers. Also, novel empirical correlations for prediction of the Sherwood number in the continuous phase were presented based on the dispersed-phase holdup, Reynolds number, and mass transfer direction between the phases. Empirical correlations based on dimensionless numbers can be considered as a useful tool for the design of the Kühni columns.

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Chemical Engineering - Separation Processes


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