Modelling and transport in liquid membrane contactors

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The paper deals with carrier-facilitated transport of organic acids and aminoacids in supported liquid membranes. The hydrophobic polypropylene membranes in hollow fibre module were applied in the research. The knowledge about transport mechanism is essential for process optimization. The quaternary ammonium salt TOMAC was a carrier, which transported lactate from aqueous feed phase to aqueous stripping phase that was diluted sulphuric acid. The accompanying counterbalanced transport of anionic species took place in opposite direction. The mathematical model of coupled transport was presented. The effect of osmotic pressure, hydrophobic and electrostatic effects were taken into account. The equilibrium of reversible reaction between carrier and solute was determined taking into account effect of coupled transport of anionic species in opposite direction. Tim separation of aminoacids, e.g. phenylalanine and tryptophan, with reversed micelle in TOMAC/hexanol/n-heptane system was very effective. The model of mass transport was analyzed by taking into account two approaches, i.e. constant and variable partitions. The following resistances to mass transport were assumed in the model, e.g. boundary layer in the liquid phase inside the hollow fiber, resistance to solute diffusion inside the pores filled with liquid phase (membrane), boundary layer in shell side of the tubes. The main aim of the work was detailed understanding of interactions between carrier and solute across liquid membrane. The second aim was to determine hydrophobic and electrostatic effects during the solute transport through structured liquids (reversed micelles). Analysis of the mathematical model of solute transport showed an important role of solute partition in results of simulation. The proposed model makes it possible to involve variation of partition coefficient that is not possible in commonly used classical methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironment Protection Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Liquid membranes
  • Extraction
  • Feed phase


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