A method for stripping adsorbed organic solvent from a solid comprising feeding a slurry of the solid containing the adsorbed solvent into a packed column and countercurrently contacting the slurry with stripping gas, removing an overhead stream comprising desorbed solvent and a bottom stream comprising a solvent stripped solids slurry. A preferred embodiment uses a vertical packed column, an aqueous slurry of the solid, and steam as the stripping gas. The method is particularly suitable for stripping extraction solvents from spent tar sands or spent diatomite resulting from bitumen extraction methods.
The vertical packed-bed stripping column has two separate zones: (a) a hot stripping zone where the feed enters at the top and the hot stripping gas enters at the bottom of the hot stripping zone; (b) and a cold stripping zone where the depleted feed from the hot stripping zone enters at the top and a cold stripping gas is introduced at the bottom of th cold stripping zone. The lower stripping zone is maintained at a temperature less than the upper zone of the same stripping column.