The hydrodynamic behaviour and mass transfer characteristics of single droplets in a pulsed sieve plate column

  • A.S. Al-Jimaz

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The literature relating to the performance of pulsed sieve plate liquid-liquid extraction columns and the relevant hydrodynamic phenomenon have been surveyed. Hydrodynamic behaviour and mass transfer characteristics of droplets in turbulent and non-turbulent conditions have also been reviewed.
Hydrodynamic behaviour, i.e. terminal and characteristic velocity of droplets, droplet size and droplet breakup processes, and mass transfer characteristics of single droplets (d≤0.6 cm) were investigated under pulsed (mixer-settler & transitional regimes) and non-pulsed conditions in a 5.0 cm diameter, 100 cm high, pulsed sieve plate column with three different sieve plate types and variable plate spacing. The system used was toluene (displaced) - acetone - distilled water.
Existing photographic techniques for following and recording the droplet behaviour, and for observing the parameters of the pulse and the pulse shape were further developed and improved. A unique illumination technique was developed by which a moving droplet could be photographed using cine or video photography with good contrast without using any dye.
Droplet size from a given nozzle and droplet velocity for a given droplet diameter are reduced under pulsing condition, and it was noted that this effect is enhanced in the presence of sieve plate. The droplet breakup processes are well explained by reference to an impact-breakup mechanism. New correlations to predict droplet diameter based on this mechanism are given below.vskip 1.0cm or in dimensionless groups as follows:- (We)crit= 3.12 - 1.79 (Eo)crit
A correlation based on the isotropic turbulence theory was developed to calculate droplet diameter in the emulsion regime.vskip 1.0cm
Experimental results show that in the mixer-settler and transitional regimes, pulsing parameters had little effect on the overall dispersed phase mass transfer coefficient during the droplet formation and unhindered travel periods.
Date of AwardFeb 1992
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorM.P. Wilson (Supervisor) & C.J. Mumford (Supervisor)


  • mass transfer
  • liquid-liquid extraction
  • pulsed sieve plate column
  • single droplet

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