The Choice of Extraction Method

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Chapter: Pharmaceutical Engineering: Solid-Liquid Extraction

The choice of extraction method depends primarily on the physical properties of the basic material and its particle size.


THE CHOICE OF EXTRACTION METHOD

The choice of extraction method depends primarily on the physical properties of the basic material and its particle size. If this material is a coarse, rigid powder, beds of high permeability will form and percolation can be adopted. The expense of finer grinding is avoided and the subsequent separation of solids and liquid is facilitated. The process can be conducted in such a way that a con-centrated product is obtained. Other materials, such as fine powders or com-pressible animal tissues, will not form permeable beds, and the alternative method must be adopted. Some compensation for the difficulties of separation and the dilution of the extract during washing may be found in a more rapid and more complete extraction. This is due to the use of finer powders, intimate contact between solids and liquid, and the absence of channeling.

The use of pressure extends the application of percolation to materials that form beds of low permeability. Alternatively, permeability may be increased by grinding the solids with a supporting material such as glass wool.

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