Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 13, 2009
Previous Article Next Article

Distillation in microchemical systems using capillary forces and segmented flow

Author affiliations

Abstract

Distillation is a ubiquitous method of separating liquid mixtures based on differences in volatility. Performing such separations in microfluidic systems is difficult because interfacial forces dominate over gravitational forces. We describe distillation in microchemical systems and present an integrated silicon device capable of separating liquid mixtures based on boiling point differences. Microfluidic distillation is realized by establishing vapor–liquid equilibrium during segmented flow. Enriched vapor in equilibrium with liquid is then separated using capillary forces, and thus enabling a single-stage distillation operation. Design criteria for operation of on-chip distillation is set forth, and the working principle demonstrated by separation of binary mixtures of 50 : 50 mol% MeOHtoluene and 50 : 50 mol% DCMtoluene at 70.0 °C. Analysis of vapor condensate and liquid exiting a single-stage device gave MeOH mole fractions of 0.22 ± 0.03 (liquid) and 0.79 ± 0.06 (vapor). Similarly, DCM mole fractions were estimated to be 0.16 ± 0.07 (liquid) and 0.63 ± 0.05 (vapor). These experimental results were consistent with phase equilibrium predictions.

Graphical abstract: Distillation in microchemical systems using capillary forces and segmented flow

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 27 Jan 2009, accepted on 25 Mar 2009 and first published on 07 Apr 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B901790A
Lab Chip, 2009,9, 1843-1849

  •   Request permissions

    Distillation in microchemical systems using capillary forces and segmented flow

    R. L. Hartman, H. R. Sahoo, B. C. Yen and K. F. Jensen, Lab Chip, 2009, 9, 1843
    DOI: 10.1039/B901790A

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements