Solvent extraction, also known as liquid extraction and partitioning, is a method to separate compounds based on their relative solubility in two different immiscible liquid, usually water and organic solvent. It is an extraction from one liquid phase to another liquid phrase. Liquid extraction is a basic technique in chemical laboratories, where it is performed using a separator funnel. This type of process is commonly performed after a chemical reaction as part of the work-up. Liquid–liquid extraction is possible in non-aqueous systems: In a system consisting of a molten metal in contact with molten salts, metals can be extracted from one phase to the other. This is related to a mercury electrode where a metal can be reduced, the metal will often then dissolve in the mercury to form an amalgam that modifies its electrochemistry greatly. For example, it is possible for sodium cations to be reduced at a mercury cathode to form sodium amalgam, while at an inert electrode (such as platinum) the sodium cations are not reduced. Instead, water is reduced to hydrogen. A detergent or fine solid can be used to stabilize an emulsion, or third phase.
MEASURES OF EFFECTIVENESS
In solvent extraction, a distribution ratio is often quoted as a measure of how well-extracted a species is. The distribution ratio is equal to the concentration of a solute in the organic phase divided by its concentration in the aqueous phase. Depending on the system, the distribution ratio can be a function of temperature, the concentration of chemical species in the system, and a large number of other parameters.
The separation factor is one distribution ratio divided by another; it is a measure of the ability of the system to separate two solutes. Decontamination factor
This is used to express the ability of a process to remove a contaminant from a product. Slopes of graph
The easy way to work out the extraction mechanism is to draw graphs and measure the slopes.
Batch wise single stage extractions
This is commonly used on the small scale in chemical labs. It is normal to use a separating funnel. For instance, if a chemist were to extract anisole from a mixture of water and 5% acetic acid using ether, then the anisole will enter the organic phase. The two phases would then be separated. The acetic acid can then be scrubbed (removed) from the organic phase by shaking the organic extract with sodium bicarbonate. The acetic acid reacts with the sodium bicarbonate to form sodium acetate, carbon dioxide, and water. Multistage countercurrent continuous processes
These are commonly used in industry for the processing of metals such as the lanthanides; because the separation factors between the lanthanides are so small many extraction stages are needed. In the multistage processes, the aqueous raffinate from one extraction unit is fed to the next unit as the aqueous feed, while the organic phase is moved in the opposite direction. Hence, in this way, even if the separation between two metals in each stage is small, the overall system can have a higher decontamination factor. Multistage countercurrent arrays have been used for the separation of lanthanides. For the design of a good process, the distribution ratio should be not too high (>100) or too low (<0.1) in the extraction portion of the process. It is often the case that the process will have a section for scrubbing unwanted metals from the organic phase, and finally a stripping section to obtain the metal back from the organic phase. Multistage Podbielniak contactor centrifuges produce three to five stages of theoretical extraction in a single countercurrent pass, and are used in fermentation-based pharmaceutical and food additive production facilities. Centrifugal extractors mix and separate in one unit. Two liquids will be intensively mixed between the spinning rotor and the stationary housing at speeds up to 6000...
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