Chemically active liquid membranes in inorganic supports for metal ion separations

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25 Scopus citations


Ceramic membranes with pores filled with organic chelation acid show promise as the basis for inorganic membrane separator units for metal ion separations from dilute aqueous streams. The performance of such membranes in disk geometry is evaluated experimentally for a model system. The proposed model describes the metal ion flux through the membrane, and a batch or continuous operated separator using these membranes is analyzed. Copper ion fluxes through α‐alumina/silica disks impregnated with 2‐hydroxy‐5‐nonylacetophenone oxime were determined from a rotating diffusion cell apparatus for feed solution concentration of copper 0.03 mol/L, feed solution pH 3, strip solution pH of 0.3, and rotation speed of 130 rpm. Flux values range from 5.4 × 10−6 to 2.2 × 10−5 mol/cm2·h and compare well with the reported values for metal ion transport through polymeric supporting membranes (Largman and Sifniades, 1978; Babcock et al., 1981; Teramoto and Tanimoto, 1983; Kojima and Miyauchi, 1981). The proposed steady‐state flux model describes the metal flux through chemically active liquid membranes in inorganic supports. The model includes film resistance to mass transfer in both liquid films, complexation and stripping reactions at the liquid‐liquid interface in the membrane pores on both surfaces of the membrane, and metal ion/complex diffusion through the membrane. Separately designed experiments were executed using a precise pH‐static technique to obtain the physical and chemical parameters of diffusivities, kinetic coefficients and equilibrium coefficients. Calculated fluxes compare well with experimentally determined values from batch experiments (average standard error, 11%). The proposed lumped parameter linear kinetic rate model for the surface reaction rates interprets the kinetic data for the copper chelation reaction. The model is based on a multistep reaction mechanism and has the following form for the extraction reaction for the above mentioned conditions: (Formula Presented.) A similar expression is presented for the strip reaction. An analytical solution for the mathematical model predicts the performance of the chemically active liquid membrane reactor for the batch or continuous operation of the rotating diffusion cell. Calculated results describe expected trends and agree well with the experimental results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1957-1968
Number of pages12
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


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