Design of a continuous countercurrent ion exchange unit, and operating characteristics for the aqueous cupric sulfate-sodium sulfate-Dowex 50W-X8 system Public Deposited

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  • A countercurrent, liquid-solids contactor was constructed, operated and evaluated for a continuous ion-exchange operation. The exchange of cupric and sodium ions between aqueous solutions and Dowex 50W-X8 ion exchange resin was studied. The countercurrent contactor consisted of two, three-inch diameter columns with active sections ranging from one to four feet in length. Resin was driven downward in each column by a sinusoidal hydraulic pulse acting in conjunction with a check valve that allowed only downward flow of solids. Resin phase velocities of 4 cm/min and solution flow rates of 35.6 ml/cm² min were attained in the columns. Cupric sulfate and sodium sulfate solutions were fed to each of the two columns to simulate loading and eluting operations, respectively. The experimental results were correlated with a modified transfer unit model. Provision was made for a variable, composition-dependent, resin-phase diffusivity and a direction-of-ion-transfer dependent transfer-unit height in the solution phase. Although a variable resin-phase diffusivity was expected, the data were best correlated with a constant resin phase diffusivity of ¯[subscript D][subscript CuNa] = 0.807 x 10⁻⁶ [superscript cm²]/[subscript sec] ± 5%. The solution-phase transfer unit heights were found to be relatively larger when the slower ion diffused from the solution to the resin phase. Solution phase-resin phase equilibria were determined for the systems, cupric sulfate and sodium sulfate in 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 normal aqueous solutions and Dowex 50W-X8 ion-exchange resin. These data were required to evaluate the column experiments since the available equilibrium data for cupric chloride and sodium chloride in aqueous solution and Dowex 50W-X8 were found to be inapplicable.
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