Propionic acid extraction in a microfluidic system: simultaneous effects of channel diameter and fluid flow rate on the flow regime and mass transfer

Document Type: Full article

Authors

CFD Research Center, Chemical Engineering Department, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

Abstract

In this work, extraction of propionic acid from the aqueous phase to the organic phase (1-octanol) was performed in T-junction microchannels and effects of channel diameter and fluid flow rate on the mass transfer characteristics were investigated. The two-phase flow patterns in studied microchannels with 0.4 and 0.8 mm diameters were observed. Weber ‎ number and surface-to-volume ratio were calculated for evaluating flow patterns. Moreover, the effect of volumetric flow rates on the extraction ‎efficiency, volumetric mass transfer coefficient, and pressure drop was examined. Results showed that the pressure drop in the microchannel with 0.4 mm diameter is 2-2.7 times higher than that in the microchannel with 0.8 mm diameter. In both microchannels, with increase in flow rate, the extraction ‎efficiency first increases and then decreases. In addition, at high flow rates (2.4, 4.5 and 6 mL/min), the extraction ‎efficiency in the microchannel with 0.8 mm diameter increased up to the range of 7-14.9 % compared with that in the microchannel with 0.4 mm diameter.

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