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Performance evaluation of Alizarin extraction from aqueous solutions in a microfluidic system


This research has been conducted to study extraction of an anionic dye, Alizarin Red S (ARS), from the aqueous phase into the organic phase in a T-junction microchannel. The organic phase included Aliquat 336 and 1-octanol. Equal volumetric flow rates of aqueous and organic phases were adjusted in all the experiments. Designing the experiments and analyzing of the parameters that affect the extraction percentage of ARS were carried out using response surface methodology. The parameters were feed pH, feed concentration, extractant concentration and flow rate of aqueous and organic phases. The maximum extraction percentage of 98.7 was obtained at the feed pH of 3, feed concentration of 5000 mg L−1, extractant concentration of 4 vol.% and flow rate of 2.5 mL min−1. Under the optimum conditions obtained from the experimental design analysis, ARS extraction was performed in a batch system, too. The two-phase contact times to reach the extraction percentage of 98.7 in the microchannel and batch system were 2.4 s and 5.5 min, respectively.

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C aq, in :

Concentration of ARS in the inlet of the aqueous phase mg L−1

C aq, out :

Concentration of ARS in the outlet of the aqueous phase mg L−1

E :

Extraction percentage of ARS


Percentage contribution

Q aq :

Volumetric flow rate of the aqueous phase m3 s−1

Q org :

Volumetric flow rate of the organic phase m3 s−1


Sum of squares

t m :

Residence time of mixture two-phase s

V :

Total volume of mixing channel m3


Aqueous phase


Organic phase




Mixture of the liquid–liquid two-phase




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Correspondence to Masoud Rahimi.

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Hosseini Kakavandi, F., Rahimi, M., Baniamer, M. et al. Performance evaluation of Alizarin extraction from aqueous solutions in a microfluidic system. Chem. Pap. 71, 2521–2532 (2017).

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  • Microchannel
  • Liquid–liquid extraction
  • Alizarin Red S
  • Aliquat 336
  • Experimental design