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Water Supply Vol 3 No 5 pp 67–72 © IWA Publishing 2003

Removal of trichloroethylene and trichloroethane using a novel hollow-fibre gas-permeable membrane

S. Takizawa* and T. Win**

*Department of Urban Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 13-8656, Japan (E-mail: takizawa@env.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp)
**Recycle Engineering Co., Ltd., 3121 Moo 10, Sukhumvit Rd. Soi 107, T.Sumrongnua, A.Muang, Samutprakarn, Thailand


ABSTRACT
In order to evaluate effects of operational parameters on the removal efficiency of trichloroethylene and 1,1,1-trichloroethene from water, lab-scale experiments were conducted using a novel hollow-fibre gaspermeable membrane system, which has a very thin gas-permeable membrane held between microporous support membranes. The permeation rate of chlorinated hydrocarbons increased at higher temperature and water flow rate. On the other hand, the effects of the operational conditions in the permeate side were complex. When the permeate side was kept at low pressure without sweeping air (pervaporation), the removal efficiency of chlorinated hydrocarbon, as well as water permeation rate, was low probably due to lower level of membrane swelling on the permeate side. But when a very small amount of air was swept on the membrane (air perstripping) under a low pressure, it showed a higher efficiency than in any other conditions. Three factors affecting the permeation rate are: 1) reduction of diffusional boundary layer within the microporous support membrane, 2) air/vapour flow regime and short cutting, and 3) the extent of membrane swelling on the permeate side. A higher air flow, in general, reduces the diffusional boundary layer, but at the same time disrupts the flow regime, causes short cutting, and makes the membrane dryer. Due to these multiple effects on gas permeation, there is an optimum operational condition concerning the vacuum pressure and the air flow rate. Under the optimum operational condition, the residence time within the hollow-fibre membrane to achieve 99% removal of TCE was 5.25 minutes. The log (removal rate) was linearly correlated with the average hydraulic residence time within the membrane, and 1 mg/L of TCE can be reduced to 1 g/L (99.9% removal).

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