Newly novel developed correlations were derived to predict the dispersed phase (DP) holdup in a rotating disc contactor (RDC) extraction column. DP holdup is one of the significant parameters in the design of liquid–liquid contactors and for calculating their production capacity. Despite the availability of quite a large number of holdup prediction correlations for the RDC, most of these correlations are either general in nature or valid for a limited range of operating conditions. This study conducted an experimental and theoretical investigation of the RDC holdup under the influence of varying geometries, including variations in the dispersed phase distributor, speed of the disc, flow rate, and physical characteristics of the system. The analysis revealed that the holdup decreased with an increasing distributor hole diameter and increased with an increasing disc speed and total flow rate. The effect of the physical properties on the holdup was larger than the effect of the disc speed. Using the measurements of over 150 runs, two RDC column holdup predictive models were proposed and evaluated. The first correlation was derived in terms of the distributor hole diameter, operating parameters, system physical properties, and column geometry. The second correlation excluded the column geometry. These correlations, which consider the distributor hole inlet diameter in predicting the DP holdup for an RDC column, were presented for the first time in this study. The predictive capability of these correlations was evaluated via their standard deviation (SD) and mean average percentage error (MAPE). The respective SD and MAPE of the two correlations were 1.7 and 5.2% for the first correlation and 1.6 and 11.4% for the second.
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