Comparison of Co-Current and Counter-Current Flow Fields on Extraction Performance in Micro-Channels

Affiliation(s)

Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras), Chennai, India.

Department of Mathematical Analysis, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras), Chennai, India.

Department of Mathematical Analysis, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

ABSTRACT

Several applications such as liquid-liquid extraction in micro-fluidic devices are concerned with the flow of two immiscible liquid phases. The commonly observed flow regimes in these systems are slug-flow and stratified flow. The latter regime in micro-channels has the inherent advantage that separation of the two liquids at the exit is efficient. Recently extraction in a stratified counter-current flow has been studied experimentally and it has been shown to be more efficient than co-current flow. An analytical as well as a numerical method to determine the steady-state solution of the corresponding convection-diffusion equation for the two flow-fields is presented. It is shown that the counter-current process is superior to the co-current process for the same set of parameters and operating conditions. A simplified model is proposed to analyse the process when diffusion in the transverse direction is not rate limiting. Different approaches to determining mass transfer coefficient are compared. The concept of log mean temperature difference used in design of heat exchangers is extended to describe mass transfer in the system.

Several applications such as liquid-liquid extraction in micro-fluidic devices are concerned with the flow of two immiscible liquid phases. The commonly observed flow regimes in these systems are slug-flow and stratified flow. The latter regime in micro-channels has the inherent advantage that separation of the two liquids at the exit is efficient. Recently extraction in a stratified counter-current flow has been studied experimentally and it has been shown to be more efficient than co-current flow. An analytical as well as a numerical method to determine the steady-state solution of the corresponding convection-diffusion equation for the two flow-fields is presented. It is shown that the counter-current process is superior to the co-current process for the same set of parameters and operating conditions. A simplified model is proposed to analyse the process when diffusion in the transverse direction is not rate limiting. Different approaches to determining mass transfer coefficient are compared. The concept of log mean temperature difference used in design of heat exchangers is extended to describe mass transfer in the system.

Cite this paper

Pushpavanam, S. and Malengier, B. (2012) Comparison of Co-Current and Counter-Current Flow Fields on Extraction Performance in Micro-Channels.*Advances in Chemical Engineering and Science*, **2**, 309-320. doi: 10.4236/aces.2012.22036.

Pushpavanam, S. and Malengier, B. (2012) Comparison of Co-Current and Counter-Current Flow Fields on Extraction Performance in Micro-Channels.

References

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[10] A. Aota, M. Nonaka, A. Hibara and T. Kitamori, “Countercurrent Laminar Microflow for Highly Efficient Solvent Extraction,” Angewandte Chemie, Vol. 119, No. 6, 2007, pp. 896-898. doi:10.1002/ange.200600122

[11] A. Hibara, M. Nonaka, H. Hisamoto, K. Uchiyama, Y. Kikutani, M. Tokeshi and T. Kitamori, “Stabilization of Liquid Interface and Control of Two-Phase Confluence and Separation in Glass Microchips by Utilizing Octadecylsilane Modification of Microchannels,” Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 74, No. 7, 2002, pp. 1724-1728. doi:10.1021/ac011038c

[12] A. Aota, H. Akihide, S. Kyosuke, S. Yasuhiko, O. Koji and T. Kitamori, “Flow Velocity Profile of Micro Counter-Current Flows,” Analytical Science, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2007, pp. 131-133. doi:10.2116/analsci.23.131

[13] D. Ramakrishna and N. R. Amundson, “Transport in Composite Materials: Reduction to a Self-Adjoint Formalism,” Chemical Engineering Science, Vol. 29, No. 6, 1974, pp. 1457-1464. doi:10.1016/0009-2509(74)80170-3

[1] A.-L. Dessimoz, L. Cavin, A. Renken and L. Kiwi-Minsker, “Liquid-Liquid Two-Phase Flow Patterns and Mass Transfer Characteristics in Rectangular MicroReactors,” Chemical Engineering Science, Vol. 63, No. 16, 2008, pp. 4035-4044. doi:10.1016/j.ces.2008.05.005

[2] J. Guo and C. Ho, “Theoretical Study on Membrane Extraction of Cu2+ with d2ehpa in Laminar Flow Circular Tube Modules,” Desalination, Vol. 233, No. 1-3, 2008, pp. 247-257. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2007.09.049

[3] M. Liu, Y. Linu, Q. Guo and J. Yang, “Modeling of Electrosomotic Pumping of Nonconducting Liquids and Bio Fluids by a Two-Phase Flow Method,” Journal of electroanalytical Chemistry, Vol. 636, No. 1-2, 2009, pp. 86-92. doi:10.1016/j.jelechem.2009.09.015

[4] Y. Gao, T. Wong, C. Yang and K. Ooi, “Two Fluid Electro Osmotic Flow in Microchannels,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol. 284, No. 1, 2005, pp. 306-314. doi:10.1016/j.jcis.2004.10.011

[5] C. Wang, Y. Gao, N.-T. Nguyen, T. Wong, C. Yang and K. Ooi, “Interface Control of Pressure-Driven Two-Fluid Flow in Microchannels Using Electro-Osmosis,” Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, Vol. 15, 2005, pp. 2289-2297. doi:10.1088/0960-1317/15/12/011

[6] D. Fries, T. Voitl and P. von Rohr, “Liquid Extraction of Vanillin in Rectangular Microreactors,” Chemical Engineering & Technology, Vol. 31, No. 8, 2008, pp. 1182-1187. doi:10.1002/ceat.200800169

[7] Y. Okubo, T. Maki, N. Aoki, T. H. Khoo, Y. Ohmukai and K. Mae, “Liquid-Liquid Extraction for Efficient Synthesis and Separation by Utilizing Micro Spaces,” Chemical Engineering Science, Vol. 63, No. 16, 2008, pp. 4070-4077. doi:10.1016/j.ces.2008.05.017

[8] P. Znidarsic Plazl and I. Plazl, “Steroid Extraction in a Microchannel System-Mathematical Modelling and Experiments,” Lab on Chip, Vol. 7, 2007, pp. 883-889. doi:10.1039/b704432a

[9] W. E. TeGrotenhuis, R. J. Cameron, M. G. Butcher and P. M. W. R. S. Martin, “Microchannel Devices for Efficient Contacting of Liquids in Solvent Extraction,” Separation Science and Technology, Vol. 34, 1999, pp. 951-974. doi:10.1081/SS-100100691

[10] A. Aota, M. Nonaka, A. Hibara and T. Kitamori, “Countercurrent Laminar Microflow for Highly Efficient Solvent Extraction,” Angewandte Chemie, Vol. 119, No. 6, 2007, pp. 896-898. doi:10.1002/ange.200600122

[11] A. Hibara, M. Nonaka, H. Hisamoto, K. Uchiyama, Y. Kikutani, M. Tokeshi and T. Kitamori, “Stabilization of Liquid Interface and Control of Two-Phase Confluence and Separation in Glass Microchips by Utilizing Octadecylsilane Modification of Microchannels,” Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 74, No. 7, 2002, pp. 1724-1728. doi:10.1021/ac011038c

[12] A. Aota, H. Akihide, S. Kyosuke, S. Yasuhiko, O. Koji and T. Kitamori, “Flow Velocity Profile of Micro Counter-Current Flows,” Analytical Science, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2007, pp. 131-133. doi:10.2116/analsci.23.131

[13] D. Ramakrishna and N. R. Amundson, “Transport in Composite Materials: Reduction to a Self-Adjoint Formalism,” Chemical Engineering Science, Vol. 29, No. 6, 1974, pp. 1457-1464. doi:10.1016/0009-2509(74)80170-3