Announcement of CNIE Inspiration Grant: Nature-inspired confined jet-mixers for ionic liquid-liquid extraction applications

01 June 2016

We are pleased to announce that Prof Panagiota Angeli and Dr Dimitrios Tsaoulidis have been awarded a Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering Inspiration Grant on the Nature-inspired confined jet-mixers for ionic liquid-liquid extraction applications. The project is in collaboration with Prof Kenneth Seddon and Dr Natalia Plechkova from QUILL Research Centre, The Queen’s University of Belfast.The proposed research aims to investigate novel intensified extraction technologies, which combine impinging-jet mixing with environmentally friendly solvents (Ionic Liquids), for the recycling of metals and lanthanides.  Metals and lanthanides are extensively used in low-carbon energy generation technologies and their recycling will reduce demand on natural resources and cost of their mining.The impinging jets will be generated from the collision of two (immiscible) liquid streams at high throughputs. To intensify the process, the impinging jets will be confined in small cells where energy will be dissipated in very small volumes and will increase significantly the mixing intensity and the interfacial area, thus considerably enhancing mass transfer rates.

 This project draws inspiration from the formation of maelstroms as a result of a unique combination of strong tidal currents and geography. Maelstroms are formed when very strong tides coming from different (opposing) directions collide with each other. The high kinetic energy values associated with the high tidal current velocities lead to the formation of vortices, and is commonly utilized by tidal and vortex power generators that extract energy from the moving/swirling water to power turbines. The project aims to create the same conditions as those appearing in nature but in a small-scale cell, by bringing into contact two liquid streams/jets from opposing directions at very high velocities (Figure 1). To increase throughput a scale up network will be considered with multiple opposing liquid  streams.

For further information about the CNIE Inspiration Grant, please contact us at cnie.admin@ucl.ac.uk

Further information about the Centre can be found here: http://www.natureinspiredengineering.org.uk/the-centre


Announcement of CNIE Inspiration Grant: Nature-inspired confined jet-mixers for ionic liquid-liquid extraction applications