Abstract The purpose of this paper is to give a complete analysis of the influence of mass transfer direction on the performance of a pulsed perforated plate-column. The ternary system studied was water—iodine—carbon tetrachloride. Both mass transfer directions were considered, i.e. iodine transfering from continuous aqueous phase to dispersed organic phase and vice versa. Parameters considered are overall efficiency, hold up, true number of transfer units, Peclet number for both phases, drop size, interfacial area and overall mass transfer coefficient.