The effect of internal reflux in the raffinate phase for membrane extraction through a cross-flow rectangular module was investigated. Theoretical analysis of mass transfer in cross-flow devices with or without recycle was analogous to heat transfer in cross-flow heat exchangers. In contrast to a device without reflux, considerable improvement in mass transfer is achievable if cross-flow membrane extractors are operated with reflux which provides the increase of fluid velocity, resulting in reduction of mass-transfer resistance. It is concluded that reflux can enhance mass transfer, especially for large flow rate and feed-concentration solution operated under high reflux ratio.
Journal of the Chinese Institute of Chemical Engineers=中國化學工程學會會誌 39(6), pp.571–578