Unit Operations Lab: Mass Transfer and Axial Dispersion in a Reciprocating-Plate Liquid Extraction Column


  • June Luke University of Washington
  • N. Lawrence Ricker University of Washington


A set of related experiments involving liquid-liquid extraction is described. The proposed chemical system is water/kerosene/butyric acid, which exhibits interesting phase equilibria at low butyric acid concentrations. A reciprocating-plate extraction column is used. Hydrodynamic experiments characterize flooding and axial dispersion behavior, and the mass transfer efficiency is also measured.

Author Biographies

June Luke, University of Washington

June Luke received her BS degree in chemical engineering from the University of Washington in 1997. She is currently a first-year graduate student at the University of Delaware. This past summer she worked as an intern at Hercules, Inc., where she studied polymerization reactions employing microwave energy.

N. Lawrence Ricker, University of Washington

N. Lawrence Ricker received his BS from Michigan, and his MS and PhD from Berkeley,. all in chemical engineering. He worked as a systems analyst for Air Products and Chemicals before joining the University of Washington's department in 1978, where he is currently Professor of Chemical Engineering. His research specialty is process simulation and control.