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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 759397, 31 pages
Review Article

CFD Simulation of Annular Centrifugal Extractors

1Chemical Engineering and Process Development Division, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune 411008, India
2Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL 60439, USA
3Department of Chemical Engineering, Institute of Chemical Technology, Matunga, Mumbai 400 019, India
4Homi Bhabha National Institute, Anushakti Nagar, Mumbai 400 094, India

Received 30 March 2012; Accepted 13 June 2012

Academic Editor: Mahesh T. Dhotre

Copyright © 2012 S. Vedantam et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Annular centrifugal extractors (ACE), also called annular centrifugal contactors offer several advantages over the other conventional process equipment such as low hold-up, high process throughput, low residence time, low solvent inventory and high turn down ratio. The equipment provides a very high value of mass transfer coefficient and interfacial area in the annular zone because of the high level of power consumption per unit volume and separation inside the rotor due to the high g of centrifugal field. For the development of rational and reliable design procedures, it is important to understand the flow patterns in the mixer and settler zones. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has played a major role in the constant evolution and improvements of this device. During the past thirty years, a large number of investigators have undertaken CFD simulations. All these publications have been carefully and critically analyzed and a coherent picture of the present status has been presented in this review paper. Initially, review of the single phase studies in the annular region has been presented, followed by the separator region. In continuation, the two-phase CFD simulations involving liquid-liquid and gas-liquid flow in the annular as well as separator regions have been reviewed. Suggestions have been made for the future work for bridging the existing knowledge gaps. In particular, emphasis has been given to the application of CFD simulations for the design of this equipment.