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An experimental study of immiscible liquid–liquid dispersions in a pump–mixer of mixer–settler, 2020

— Authors: Tang, Q., Zhang, J., Wu, Y., Wang, Y. and Liu, Z.

Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering (link)

Drop size distribution (DSD) or mean droplet size (d32) and liquid holdup are two key parameters in a liquid–liquid extraction process. Understanding and accurately predicting those parameters are of great importance in the optimal design of extraction columns as well as mixer–settlers. In this paper, the method of built-in endoscopic probe combined with pulse laser was adopted to measure the droplet size in liquid–liquid dispersions with a pump-impeller in a rectangular mixer. The dispersion law of droplets with holdup range 1% to 24% in batch process and larger flow ratio range 1/5 to 5/1 in continuous process was studied. Under the batch operation condition, the DSD abided by log-normal distribution. With the increase of impeller speed or decrease of dispersed phase holdup, the d32 decreased. In addition, a prediction model of d32 of kerosene/deionized system was established as d32/D = 0.13(1 + 5.9φ)We−0.6. Under the continuous operation condition, the general model for droplet size prediction of kerosene/water system was presented as d32/D = C3(1 + C4φ)We−0.6. For the surfactant system and extraction system, the prediction models met a general model as d32/D = n We−0.6.