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Liquid-Liquid Separators

Zaiput Flow Technologies’ patented liquid-liquid separator enables liquid-liquid extraction/separation in flow. Our device exploits membrane-based separation and implements an innovative on-board pressure control system to ensure that proper operating conditions are always met.

The presence of the on-board pressure controller practically decouples the operation of the separator from downstream operations making the separator a truly modular unit. As a result, our separator greatly simplifies applications ranging from multistep synthesis to multistage countercurrent extraction.

Additionally, our separators are rated for high pressure use allowing in-line separation in pressurized flow systems. Finally, our devices have a broad chemical compatibility, can be easily maintained and come at an affordable price.

    Our integrated liquid-liquid separator:
  • decouples the liquid flow control from the separation (no need to manually adjust pressure drops, plug & play operation)
  • has excellent chemical compatibility (wetted parts ETFE, PFA and PTFE)
  • allows operation under pressure (300 psi/2 MPa) and in-line
  • has a low separation pressure differential (therefore it is suitable for the majority of aqueous/organic pairs)
  • is currently available for 0-12ml/min of total flow rate

Images of our SEP10-1A:

Liquid-Liquid Separator/Extractor

Liquid-Liquid Separator/ExtractorLiquid-Liquid Separator/Extractor

See a demo of our separator in action!

Separator’s Use. The separator has one inlet for the mixed stream and two outlets respectively for the organic and aqueous phase. Its use does not need any preparation or calibration.

The separating membrane is available in different pore sizes to cover a wide range of applications.

Consult Zaiput’s team for your separation needs.



If the video does not play properly, click here to see our demo.

If your application requires different specifications than those of our current products, please contact us for a custom solution.

Product Typical Total Flow Rate (ml/min) Max Operating Pressure (MPa) Standard Membrane Pore Size (μm) Dimensions (mm)
SEP01 < 1 3.5 1 contact us
SEP10 0-12 2 1 22 x 75 x 67
SEP200 200 2 1 contact us

Wetted materials: PFA, ETFE, PTFE

Ports ¼-28 flat bottom

Further information may be found in the instruction manual.

Membrane-Based Separation

Membrane-based separation relies on accurately controlling the pressure on each side of the membrane so that an incoming wetting phase can flow through the membrane pores while the non-wetting phase is retained.

Membrane-based separation has been described several years ago and it has been implemented using cumbersome pressure control systems that adjust pressure drops downstream of the membrane (see figure above). This approach has also been used to develop commercial products. While separation can be achieved with this type of setup, any change in flow rate (either a disturbance in the system or the need to run the reaction under different conditions) requires a new and tedius adjustment of the downstream pressure drops. Additionally, it is practically impossible to implement several in-line separation steps as it is extremely difficult to balance all of the pressure events during transient flow. Zaiput Flow Technologies' separator incorporates, in one device, a pressure controller that tunes the separation conditions for you. Now your separation unit becomes fully independent of both downstream operations and flow rate selection (figure below).



Performance

The separator’s performance depends on the specific liquid-liquid pair to separate. The lower the interfacial tension between the two fluids, the more challenging the separation.

In order to evaluate the resilience of our separators to disturbances in the system, we used the following experimental set up:

A two-phase flow (of an aqueous and an organic) is fed to a separator with a hydrophobic membrane. Incomplete separation can result in either retention of organic in the aqueous phase or in breakthrough of water through the membrane with the organic phase.

We simulated downstream operations or disturbances by setting a value of back pressure on the outlet of the organic stream.

The results of experiments with either hexane/water and ethyl acetate/water are shown here (where R represents the percentage of retention and B the % of breakthrough):

The results show that a simple separation (hexane/water - interfacial tension 50*10-3 N/m) runs with complete separation at all of the tested total flow rates, with different ratios of flow rates, and at different levels of disturbances created in the system (with increasing back pressure on the organic side).

The separator has an excellent performance also when challenged with a pair of liquids with very low interfacial tension (ethyl acetate/water - interfacial tension 6.8*10-3 N/m). Under these conditions, the separator provided complete separation at different total flow rates and with different ratios of flow rates but tolerated fewer disturbances to achieve complete separation in a single step.

Applications



Scientific research articles using our separator:

Trevor A. Hamlin; Gillian M. L. Lazarus; Christopher B. Kelly; and Nicholas E. Leadbeater, A Continuous-Flow Approach to 3,3,3-Trifluoromethylpropenes: Bringing Together Grignard Addition, Peterson Elimination, Inline Extraction, and Solvent Switching. Org. Process Res. Dev. Aug 2014.

Andrea Adamo; Patrick L Heider; Nopphon Weeranoppanant; and Klavs F. Jensen, Membrane-Based, Liquid-Liquid Separator with Integrated Pressure Control. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. July 2013.

Reference to separator’s theory:

Kralj, J. G.; Sahoo, H. R.; Jensen, K. F., Integrated continuous microfluidic liquid-liquid extraction. Lab Chip. 2007, 7, (2), 256-263.

Reference to examples of use of liquid–liquid separators:

Sahoo, H. R.; Kralj, J. G.; Jensen, K. F., Multistep Continuous-Flow Microchemical Synthesis Involving Multiple Reactions and Separations. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2007, 46, (30), 5704-5708.

Cervera-Padrell, A. E.; Morthensen, S. T.; Lewandowski, D. J.; Skovby, T.; Kiil, S.; Gernaey, K. V., Continuous Hydrolysis and Liquid–Liquid Phase Separation of an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Intermediate Using a Miniscale Hydrophobic Membrane Separator. Org. Process Res. Dev. 2012, 16, (5), 888-900.

Product Product Image Flow Rate
SEP200-1A
0-200 ml/min
Contact us for availability
SEP10-1A
0-12 ml/min
Contact us for pricing
SEP01-1A
0-1 ml/min
Contact us for availability
3 Replacement Membranes (0.5, SEP10-1A)
Contact us for pricing
3 Replacement Membranes (1.0, SEP10-1A)
Contact us for pricing
3 Replacement Membranes (0.5, SEP01-1A)
Contact us for availability
3 Replacement Membranes (1.0μm, SEP01-1A)
Contact us for availability
PFA Replacement Diaphragm for SEP10-1A
Contact us for pricing
PFA Replacement Diaphragm for SEP01-1A
Contact us for availability

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