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Selective solvent evaporation from binary mixtures of water and tetrahydrofuran using a falling film microreactor

: Bomhard, Sibylle von; Schelhaas, Karl-Peter; Alebrand, Sabine; Musyanovych, Anna; Maskos, Michael; Drese, Klaus Stefan


Green processing and synthesis 6 (2017), Nr.4, S.403-412
ISSN: 2191-9550 (electronic)
ISSN: 2191-9542 (print)
Fraunhofer ICT-IMM ( IMM) ()
continuous flow; downstream processing; falling film microreactor; FFMR; Microfluidics; simulation

In this work, a falling film micro reactor was investigated regarding its ability to continuously eliminate tetrahydrofuran (THF) out of a THF-water mixture via nitrogen stripping. Mass transfer measurements were performed at different temperatures and flow rates. The residual content of THF in the eluate was quantified with high precision (<0.1%) via density measurements. Remarkably, complete elimination of THF could be achieved for liquid volume flow rates smaller than 2 ml/min and nitrogen volume flow rates larger than 400 ml/min at all three investigated temperatures (55°C, 60°C, and 65°C). In order to assist future design processes of such binary microstripping systems, we further developed a mass transfer model for this separation process extending an existing model for evaporation of a pure liquid. The good agreement of experimental data and calculations in the overall investigated parameter range (≤20%, for gas flow rates below 500 ml/min ≤11%) shows the potential of the model for the prediction of alternative operational parameter settings, e.g. at different THF entrance concentrations.