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Introduction to Extraction

Application of Extraction

Types of Extractor Equipment

Single Stage and Multi Stage

Introduction to Extraction

Liquid-liquid extraction (also known as solvent extraction)

involves the separation of the constituents (solutes) of a liquid
solution by contact with another insoluble liquid.

Solutes are separated based on their different solubilities in

different liquids.

Separation is achieved when the substances constituting the

original solution is transferred from the original solution to the
other liquid solution
The simplest liquid-liquid extraction involves only a ternary (i.e.3
components) system.

The solution which is to be extracted is called the feed, and the

liquid with which the feed is contacted is the solvent.

The feed can be considered as comprising the solute A and the

"carrier" liquid C. Solvent S is a pure liquid.

During contact, mass transfer of A from the feed to the solvent S

occurs, with little transfer of C to S.

The solvent (with the solute) is then permitted to separate from the
carrier liquid.

The solvent-rich product of the operation is called the extract, and

the residual liquid from which solutes has been removed is the

In some operations, the solutes are the desired product, hence the
extract stream is the desirable stream.

In other applications, the solutes may be the contaminants that need

to be removed, and in this instance the raffinate is the desirable
product stream.
Application of Extraction

Extraction processes are well suited to the petroleum industry

because of the need to separate heat-sensitive liquid feeds according
to chemical type (e.g. aliphatic, aromatic, naphthenic) rather than by
molecular weight or vapour pressure.

Other major applications exist in the biochemical or pharmaceutical

industry, where emphasis is on the separation of antibiotics and
protein recovery.

In the inorganic chemical industry, they are used to recover high-

boiling components such as phosphoric acid, boric acid, and sodium
hydroxide from aqueous solutions.
Examples of Extraction
Extraction of methylacrylate from organic solution with

Extraction of benzylalcohol from a salt solution with toluene.

Removing of H2S from LPG with MDEA.

Extraction of caprolactam from ammonium sulfate solution with


Extraction of methanol from LPG with water.

Liquid-Liquid Extraction




Extraction is the process by which a solute is transferred from
one phase to a new phase.

Liquid-liquid extraction, also known as solvent extraction and

partitioning, is a method to separate compounds based on their
relative solubility's in two different immiscible liquids, usually
water and an organic solvent.

Process of dissolved substance transferring from one phase to

another phase, which are immiscible or restrictedly miscible, is
named liquid-liquid partition or partition between two phase of
Distribution law

At equilibrium, the ratio of the concentrations of the solute

in the two phases is given by CE/CR = K
The distribution constant K, must be greater than 1 if the
desired product is extract stream.
The distribution constant K, must be lesser than 1 if the
desired product is raffinate stream.
Typical Extraction System In Industry

An extraction system always includes at least 1 distillation column (or other separation process)
to recover solvent from the extract phase. If the solvent exhibits some degree of miscibility in
the feed, then a second separation process (normally distillation) is required to recover solvent
from raffinate.
Classification Of Extractor
Types Of Extractor

Single Stage Multi Stage

Types of Extractor Equipment

Single Stage Multi Stage

1. Mixer-Settler 1. Mixer-settler Battery
2. Decanter (MSB)
2. Mechanically Agitated
i. Scheibel Extractor
ii. Rotating Disk Contactor
iii. Pulse Extractors
Mixer-settlers are still widely used because of their reliability, operating
flexibility, and high capacity. They can handle difficult-to-disperse systems,
such as those having high interfacial tension and/or large phase density

They can also cope with highly viscous liquids and solid-liquid slurries.
The main disadvantages are their size and the inventory of material held up
in the equipment.

For multiple unit operations, considerable capital costs may be needed for
pumps and pipings.

A mixer-settler device ordinarily consisted of two parts: a mixer for

contacting the two liquid phases to bring about mass transfer, and a settler
for their mechanical separation.
The mixer and settler can be integral or separate. The operation
may be continuous or batchwise.
Settlers (or sometimes known as decanter), can be as simple as
involving simple dispersion, where the entering liquid is dispersed into

The droplets are then allowed to settle by gravity in the main part of
the vessel.

Most settlers consist of a horizontal vessel, because the separating

efficiency is proportional to the area of the phase interface.

To increase the size of the droplets and hence their settling rate, the
dispersion may be passed through a coalescer (packing or wire mesh)
Mixer-settler Battery (MSB)

Mixer-settler can be single-stage or multi-stage (cascade). For multi-

stage system, also known as mixer-settler battery (MSB), it is possible
to achieve optimum selection of degree of dispersion because the
mixers can be adjusted independently.

System expansion is easy by the addition of extra stages to existing

Mixer-settler Battery (MSB)
Scheibel Extractor
This is probably the oldest of column having agitators.
It operates on the mixer-settler principle.
There are many versions of this design.
The agitators are mounted at fixed intervals on a central vertical shaft,
and wire-mesh packings are installed to improve coalescence and
separation of the phases.

The main disadvantages of this column include :

Poor dis-assembly characteristics
Easy fouling of the separation zones
Poor efficiency for large diameter column
Scheibel Extractor
Rotating Disk Contactor (RDC)

In this system, horizontal disks are used as agitating elements, which

are mounted on a centrally supported shaft.

Mounted on the column wall and offset against the agitator disks are
the stator rings, whose have aperture is greater than the agitator disk

This device uses the shearing action of the rapidly rotating disks to
inter-disperse the phases
Rotating Disk Contactor (RDC)
Pulse Extractors
In this design, a reciprocating pump is used to create pulses of short amplitude that are
superimposed on the usual flow of the liquid phases.

The column itself may contain packing or perforated plates.

The unique features of pulsed columns are low axial mixing and a relatively small
increase in axial mixing with increase in column diameter.

The pulsation causes the light liquid to be dispersed into the heavy phase on the upward
stroke and the heavy phase to jet into the light phase on the downward stroke.

Such columns have no moving parts, and found almost exclusive use in the processing
of highly corrosive radioactive liquids.
Pulse Extractors