Liquid-liquid extraction for efficient synthesis and separation by utilizing micro spaces

Yoshihito Okubo, Taisuke Maki, Nobuaki Aoki, Teng Hong Khoo, Yoshikage Ohmukai, Kazuhiro Mae

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    78 Citations (Scopus)


    Enhancement of mass transfer between two phases and improvement of extraction efficiency are expected if features of micro spaces are adopted for a liquid-liquid two-phase process. In this work, three extraction operations, contact flow in a Y-shaped microchannel, segmented flow and emulsification, have been investigated. Extraction using segmented flow is dependent on mass transfer by molecular diffusion and its rate is enhanced by the internal circulation flow generated inside slugs. The extraction rate can be controlled precisely by adjusting operational parameters such as the flow rate and the flow rate ratio. Liquid-liquid two-phase separation can be achieved instantly. Thus, continuous operation of a process involving liquid-liquid extraction and then two-phase separation is expected to be possible. For extraction based on emulsification, rapid extraction is made possible owing to significant increase in the interfacial area. Though extraction itself is rapid, liquid-liquid separation may take a long time because coalescence of stable emulsions requires time. It is suitable for systems strongly requiring only rapid extraction. Advanced reaction-separation systems can be developed by combining the extraction operations, making full use of the characteristics of segmented flow or emulsification and the reaction.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4070-4077
    Number of pages8
    JournalChemical Engineering Science
    Issue number16
    Publication statusPublished - 2008 Aug 1


    • Contact flow
    • Emulsion
    • Extraction
    • Interface
    • Mass transfer
    • Segmented flow

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Chemistry(all)
    • Chemical Engineering(all)
    • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


    Dive into the research topics of 'Liquid-liquid extraction for efficient synthesis and separation by utilizing micro spaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this