Continuous Liquid-Liquid Separation in Microgravity (Continuous Liquid-Liquid Separation in Microgravity) - 11.21.17

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The Continuous Liquid-Liquid Separation in Microgravity investigation uses a unique liquid separation system which relies on surface forces to accomplish liquid-liquid extraction. By exploring the microgravity effects on the process, the system is further developed and refined for use in chemical production.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Twyman S. Clements, M.S., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Andrea Adamo, Ph.D., Zaiput Flow Technologies, Cambridge, MA, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Information Pending

Developer(s)
Space Tango, Inc., Lexington, KY, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2017 - February 2018

Expeditions Assigned
53/54

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • The Continuous Liquid-Liquid Separation in Microgravity investigation utilizes a product called the Zaiput Separator (Zaiput SEP) for continuous separation of immiscible liquids.
  • While common separation methods rely on liquid sedimentation, this system has the unique characteristic of relying on surface forces to accomplish liquid-liquid extraction.
  • Separation based on surface tension is thought to be a method to separate immiscible fluids independent of gravity; however, this has never been tested and the physics of the process remains, to some extent, unclear.
  • Investigators propose a series of experiments to explore the role that gravity may play in the separation process. Besides having significant scientific value, the information gained from the work is critical to define in detail the physics of the process.
  • Liquid-liquid separation products are widely used in research settings, but they are too small to be able to serve the needs of chemical production. Investigation findings may propel a scale-up of the system to flow rates suitable for chemical production.

Description
Separation based on surface tension is thought to be a method to separate immiscible fluids independent of gravity. The physics of the process has never been tested and it is to some extent, unclear. The purpose of the Continuous Liquid-Liquid Separation in Microgravity experiment is to explore the role that gravity plays in the separation process. A microgravity environment is required to test the role of gravity on the surface tension-based separation method. The Zaiput Separator (Zaiput SEP) device separates any process fluid containing more than two immiscible phases which includes oil/water, aqueous/organic, organic/organic and more. The Zaiput SEP may be inserted into any continuous process for inline or downstream separation. The separation inside the Zaiput SEP is an interfacial phenomena, not gravity-based. Therefore, it may be used with any fluid mixture, regardless of their density difference. For this project, oil and water are continually mixed and supplied to the separator. The input mixture line and the two output liquid lines (separated oil and water) are imaged.

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Applications

Space Applications
Successful evaluation of the Zaiput SEP in TangoLab Module creates many possibilities for microgravity research projects that are not currently possible.

Earth Applications
The completion of this project may allow up-scaling of the technology to flow rates suitable for chemical production.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
The science is contained inside of a 6U CubeLab and installed on Payload Card-5 for ascent. Crew members install the payload card into the TangoLab Facility, where autonomous operations occur. At the end of operations, the crew removes and stows the hardware for return to Earth. The experiment is returned on the same vehicle, and turned over to the Space Tango/Principal Investigator team upon return.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Space Tango
Zaiput Flow Technologies

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Imagery