In this article, droplet size and its distribution along a pulsed liquid–liquid extraction column, is studied where SiO2 nanoparticles with concentrations of 0.01, 0.05 and 0.1 vol.% and different hydrophobicities are applied to the dispersed phase. Using ultrasonication, nanoparticles were dispersed in kerosene as the base fluid. Nanofluids' stability was ensured using a UV–vis spectrophotometer. Some 22,000 droplets were measured by photographic technique and results were compared with systems containing no-nanoparticles (Water–Acetic acid–Kerosene). Addition of nanoparticles changed the droplet shape from ellipsoidal to spherical. Also, there was a marked influence on droplet breakage and droplet coalescence at 0.01 vol.%, and 0.05 vol.% or higher volume fractions, respectively. © 2012 Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering
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