Characterization of hydrodynamic parameters in a multistage column contactor

C. Tsouris, R. Ferreira, L. L. Tavlarides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Accurate knowledge of hydrodynamic parameters is of major importance for the performance study of liquid‐liquid column extractors. The effects of operating parameters on dispersed phase holdup profiles, drop size distributions, and axial mixing in both phases were investigated in a 127 mm diameter multistage contactor of pilot plant scale for the toluene‐water physically equilibrated system. Correlations for the mean holdup, the mean drop size, and the continuous phase backmixing were obtained. A stronger dependence of holdup and drop size on the operating conditions and especially on the agitation speed was observed as compared to previous investigations for the same type of contactor. The axial mixing for the single phase flow was found to follow adequately an existing correlation, while the continuous‐phase axial mixing in two‐phase flows showed some deviations from other existing correlations. Also, flooding criteria, important for the control of the extraction process, were determined based on the shape of the holdup profiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-923
Number of pages11
JournalThe Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1990


  • backmixing
  • dispersed phase holdup
  • drop size
  • flooding
  • liquid extraction
  • multistage contactor hydrodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering


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