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• Overview

• Types of system

• Simple multiple extraction

• Countercurrent multistage operation

Kremser equation – constant underflow

Graphical solution – variable underflow

Ponchon-Savarit method I

Ponchon-Savarit method II

Overview

Solid-liquid extraction or leaching generally refers to the removal of a component from a

solid using a solvent liquid.

The desired component, solute (A), is washed by the solvent (C) leaving the inert or

insoluble solid (B) undissolved. Two phases result, the overflow, V, which is a clear

solution of the solute and solvent and the underflow, L, which is the undissolved solid with

some solution adhering to it. At equilibrium, the solution adhering in the underflow has the

same composition as the overflow.

Types of system

Systems in leaching may be divided into two: constant underflow (Type I) and variable

underflow (Type II). The solution being retained in the undissolved solid may vary at

different concentrations.

C C

B A B A

Type I Type II

Simple multiple extraction

The number of theoretical equilibrium stages may be determined graphically by contacting

the resultant underflow with fresh solvent in each stage.

V0 V0 V0

L1 L2

L0 1 2 3 L3

V1 V2 V3

The procedure is to determine the resultant mixture, Σ , in each stage after which the

composition of the overflow and underflow is located using the underflow locus provided for

each system. Equilibrium is achieved when no mass transfer exist between the underflow

(inert + solution adhering to the inert) and the overflow (clear solution). The resulting

composition in the underflow is then mixed with another batch of fresh solvent.

yN+1

yA3

yA2

XC,yc mass fraction solvent

yA1

Σ3

Σ2

xA3 Σ1

xA2

xA1

xA0

V1 V2 VN+1

L0 1 2 N

LN

L1

∆

Kremser equation – constant underflow

If the solvent or solution adhering to the undissolved solid is constant then the number of

theoretical equilibrium stages may be determined by the Kremser equation. This equation

was derived from the operating line equation. When the solution retained by the inerts is

constant, both the underflow Ln and overflow Vn are constant and the equation of the

operating line is straight.

y AN +1 − x AN

log

y A 2 − x A1

N −1 =

y − yA2

log AN +1

x AN − x A1

where y = mass fraction in the overflow

x = mass fraction in the underflow

The first or letter subscript denotes component and second or number subscript denotes

equilibrium stage.

Note that this equation cannot be used for the entire cascade if L0 differs from the

succeeding underflows. Therefore the compositions of streams entering and leaving the

first stage are separately calculated by material balance. Kremser equation is then applied

to the remaining stages. In the material balance, the inert is excluded from the calculation.

Also, remember that the overflow is the same concentration as the solution leaving with the

underflow; i.e. y A1 = x A1 .

For variable underflows, the number of theoretical equilibrium stages may be determined

graphically using the Ponchon-Savarit Method. This method can also be adapted for

systems exhibiting constant underflow.

Ponchon-Savarit method

Just like in the liquid-liquid extraction, the method makes use of the delta, ∆ , to relate the

streams passing in opposite direction.

Total mass balance:

L0 + Vn+1 = Σ = V1 + Ln

∆ = L0 – V1 = Ln - Vn+1

Theoretical stages are calculated after locating delta. Starting at V1, the underflow L1 is

located by drawing a line to the right angle. V2 is then located using the delta. The

procedure is continued until the last composition in the underflow is reached.

yN+1

yA3

XC,yc mass fraction solvent

yA2

yA1

xN Σ

xA3

xA2

xA1

xA0

∆

A modification of the Ponchon-Savarit method can also be used. The modifications are (1)

consider each stream a mixture of solid and solution and (2) use the ratio of solid to solution

in place of enthalpy.

The underflow, X, and overflow, Y, is redefined as

X = mass of solute per mass of solution; A/(A + C)

Y = mass of inert per mass of solution; B/(A + C)

Stages are computed after the delta is located from the four end streams. The procedure in

“stepping off’ is the same as the previous method but the tie lines are vertical in this case.

XN XA2

XA1

Y mass C/ mass A + B

XA0

X mass A/ mass A + B

∆

References

Das, D.K. and R.K. Prabhudesai. 1999. Chemical Engineering License Review. 2nd edition.

Engineering Press. Austin, Texas.

Crokett, William E. 1986. Chemical Engineering. A Review for the P.E. Exam. John Wiley &

Sons, Inc. New York.

Foust, Alan S., L.A. Wenzel, C.W. Clamp, L. Maus, and L.B. Andersen. 1980. Principles of

Unit Operations. 2nd ed. John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Perry, Robert H. and D.W. Green. 2001. Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook. 7 th edition.

McGraw-Hill. Singapore.

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