Design Principles for Liquid-Liquid Extraction | AIChE

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Design Principles for Liquid-Liquid Extraction

November
2015

Many factors must be evaluated when developing a liquid-liquid extraction process. Here are some of the important parameters to consider as you go from laboratory testing to commercial-scale operation.

Liquid-liquid extraction is an important separation technology for a wide range of applications in the chemical process industries (CPI). Unlike distillation, which is based on boiling point differences, extraction separates components based on their relative solubilities in two immiscible liquids. Extraction is typically chosen over distillation for separation applications that would not be cost-effective, or even possible, with distillation.

This article discusses the basics of liquid-liquid extraction and provides guidance on how to select the appropriate solvent and extraction equipment. It introduces key concepts associated with designing a liquid-liquid extraction process. The article also touches on unit design and the importance of placing temperature, pressure, and level control devices in the correct location.

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