(732f) Future Challenges in Liquid-Liquid Extraction

Authors: 
Siebenhofer, M., Graz University of Technology

The needs of the biorefinery, the recycling of valuables from electronic scrap, manipulation of broths with low constituent load, and process intensification will demand several new routes in upstream processing, downstream processing as well as product isolation. Liquid-liquid extraction will besides solid-liquid extraction play an important role in these applications. To suffice the specific needs of new processes in the mentioned applications, apparatus design as well as process configuration of liquid-liquid extraction processes  must refer to manipulation of crude broths with fines load, surfactant contamination and inappropriate substance properties.

In apparatus design new construction principles without dead zones may contribute to extended up time in operation. From eliminating the stator rings of rotating disc contactors and dynamic stabilisation of phase contact in the single compartment the requirement of minimum dead zone supply is met. Crud formation of course cannot be avoided by apllying this construction principle, but is shifted to the top coalescence zone from where it can easily be withdrawn for separation by centrifugal force application.

From combination of solute separation from basic broths with chemical conversion liquid liquid extraction offers access to processing of low concentrated feed. Typically the biorefinery may draw advantages from combined processes due to low feed load of solutes.  Exemplarily the combination of liquid-liquid extraction with esterification  and consecutive distillation demonstrates the technological as well as economical advantages of liquid-liquid extraction over alternative process routes.

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