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J Environ Sci (China). 2008;20(10):1189-94.

Emergency membrane contactor based absorption system for ammonia leaks in water treatment plants.

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School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong Univerisity, 800 Dongchuan Road Shanghai 200240, China.


Because of the suspected health risks of trihalomethanes (THMs), more and more water treatment plants have replaced traditional chlorine disinfection process with chloramines but often without the proper absorption system installed in the case of ammonia leaks in the storage room. A pilot plant membrane absorption system was developed and installed in a water treatment plant for this purpose. Experimentally determined contact angle, surface tension, and corrosion tests indicated that the sulfuric acid was the proper choice as the absorbent for leaking ammonia using polypropylene hollow fiber membrane contactor. Effects of several operating conditions on the mass transfer coefficient, ammonia absorption, and removal efficiency were examined, including the liquid concentration, liquid velocity, and feed gas concentration. Under the operation conditions investigated, the gas absorption efficiency over 99.9% was achieved. This indicated that the designed pilot plant membrane absorption system was effective to absorb the leaking ammonia in the model storage room. The removal rate of the ammonia in the model storage room was also experimentally and theoretically found to be primarily determined by the ammonia suction flow rate from the ammonia storage room to the membrane contactor. The ammonia removal rate of 99.9% was expected to be achieved within 1.3 h at the ammonia gas flow rate of 500 m3/h. The success of the pilot plant membrane absorption system developed in this study illustrated the potential of this technology for ammonia leaks in water treatment plant, also paved the way towards a larger scale application.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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