Liquid-liquid phase separation and mass transfer studies were made in a 4-in.-diam. cyclone of conventional construction. The cyclone was tested with oil-water volume phase ratios ranging from values of 1/3 to 9/1 and for total flows up to 24 gal./min., although most variables were studied at a feed rate of 10 gal./min. Kerosene or a white oil (vis. 9 centipoises at 77°F.) was used as the oil phase. Valve or line premixing was used to disperse the feed. Valve pressure drops were in the range of 0.1 to 1.0 lb./, and inlet drop sizes, where determined, were about 1 mm. The optimum cyclone geometry (volume, diameter of inlet, overflow and underflow lines) and the optimum split (overflow/underflow) were determined in terms of a phase-separation efficiency Es.

At optimum geometry and split a number of mass transfer runs were made in which monobutylamine solute was transferred from the kerosene to the water phase. These runs indicated that Es decreased but mass transfer efficiency increased as the feed rate or pressure drop across the mixing valve was increased.