Heavy metal removal and recovery by contained liquid membrane permeator

Asim K. Guha, Chang H. Yun, Rahul Basu, Kamalesh K. Sirkar

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74 Scopus citations


Heavy metals like Cu2+, Cr6+, and Hg2+ were removed successfully from wastewater and concentrated in a strip aqueous solution for recycle using the hollowfiber‐contained liquid membrane (HFCLM) technique. Using cotransport, Cr6+ and Hg2+ present as anions in the feed solution were transferred individually through a liquid membrane containing tri‐n‐octylamine in xylene and concentrated in an alkaline solution on the strip side. The removal efficiency of each heavy metal was studied as a function of the aqueous feed flow rate in an HFCLM permeator. Copper present as cation Cu2+ was removed and concentrated by countertransport using LIX84 in n‐heptane as the liquid membrane. The efficiency of copper removal was studied as a function of feed copper concentration, feed flow rate, strip flow rate, and area ratio between the feed fiber set and strip fiber set. The strip side flow rate did not affect the Cu2+ transfer rate. A theoretical model presented predicts the copper transport rate from the feed solution to the strip solution in an HFCLM permeator with a variable feed to strip‐side membrane area. Both feed aqueous boundary layer and interfacial complexation reaction on the feed side dominate the observed Cu2+ removal process through LIX 84 in n‐heptane for feed concentration levels used 90–500 mg/L. It was verified by providing two times larger liquid‐liquid interfacial area in the feed aqueous side or in the strip aqueous side. The model can be used to design the membrane area required on the feed and strip fiber sides to remove essentially all of the copper from a given wastewater stream.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1223-1237
Number of pages15
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


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