Reproducibility of the hydrodynamic performance and measurements in a liquid-liquid Kuhni extraction column - Relevance to theoretical model evaluation


Liquid-liquid systems research increasingly concentrates on computer simulations. However, the possibility of adequately testing complex theoretical models against experiments is hindered by a lack of reliable reproducibility data for laboratory and pilot-plant measurements. This strongly limits meaningful evaluation of the increasingly complex process and equipment models/algorithms that are being developed. In this work, experimental data are obtained in a pilot-scale Kuhni column, and model parameters and simulated data are generated using a drop population balance model and algorithm. The results can be summarized as follows: (i) As measured by the magnitude of careful random error and corresponding confidence limits estimates, the simulation results exhibit excellent agreement with experimental drop-size distributions and fair conformity with measured dispersed-phase hold-ups. (ii) Both experimental and simulated results show that interdrop coalescence is always present within a column extractor, even at low dispersed-phase hold-ups, and thus cannot be neglected in any physically realistic and accurate modeling.



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Gomes, LN; Guimaraes, ML; Lopes, JC; Madureira, CN; Stichlmair, J; Cruz-Pinto, JJ


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