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Before operation was started, the column was first filled with CuSO4 solution (the heavy phase) and set at the desired flow rate, and then the speed of the rotor shaft was adjusted to the desired value, which ranged from 100 to 500 rpm. The light phase (naphthenic acid dissolved in kerosene) was then introduced at the bottom end of the column and the flow rate was set at the desired value. All parameters studied and their values are listed in Table 1. The rate of extraction of copper ion from copper sulfate solution was followed by measuring the change in copper ions concentrations in the aqueous phase with time. Samples of 5 cm3 were withdrawn from the aqueous (heavy) phase tank at 2 minute intervals for analysis by atomic absorption method using a Perkin-Elmer 2380 atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Ostwald viscometer and a density bottle were used to measure solution viscosity and density, respectively (Findlay & Kitchener 1965) while the diffusivity of copper ions were taken from the literature (Abdel-Aziz et al. 2013) and corrected for change in temperature and viscosity by using the Stokes–Einstein equation (Welty et al. 2008). All experiments were carried out at 23 ± 1 °C.

Table 1

List of all parameters studied and their values

ParameterValue
Speed of rotating disc, rpm 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 
Initial concentration of copper sulphate, M 0.01, 0.02, 0.03, 0.04 
Concentration of extracting agent, M 0.05, 0.1, 0.15, 0.2 
Flow rate of continuous phase, cm3/s 100, 150, 200, 280, 330 
Flow rate of dispersed phase, cm3/s 120, 180, 230, 300 
Degree of roughness, mm 1, 2, 3, 4 
Number of discs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 
ParameterValue
Speed of rotating disc, rpm 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 
Initial concentration of copper sulphate, M 0.01, 0.02, 0.03, 0.04 
Concentration of extracting agent, M 0.05, 0.1, 0.15, 0.2 
Flow rate of continuous phase, cm3/s 100, 150, 200, 280, 330 
Flow rate of dispersed phase, cm3/s 120, 180, 230, 300 
Degree of roughness, mm 1, 2, 3, 4 
Number of discs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 

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