Optimization of copper removal from aqueous solutions using emulsion liquid membranes with benzoylacetone as a carrier

  • Loreto León /
  • Gerardo León /
  • Javier Senent /
  • Carmen Pérez-Sirvent
Journal ar
  • Volumen: 7
  • Número: 1
  • Fecha: 01 enero 2017
  • ISSN: 20754701
  • Tipo de fuente: Revista
  • DOI: 10.3390/met7010019
  • Tipo de documento: Artículo
  • Editorial: MDPI AG
© 2017 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. The presence of heavy metals in aqueous solutions above certain limits represents a serious threat to the environment due to their toxicity and non-degradability. Thus, the removal of these metals from contaminated waters has received increasing attention during recent decades. This paper describes the removal of Cu(II) from aqueous solutions by emulsion liquid membranes, through a carrier-facilitated counter-transport mechanism, using benzoylacetone as the carrier and HCl as the stripping agent (protons as counter-ions). To optimize the Cu(II) removal process, the effect of the following operating parameters on the on the stability of the emulsion liquid membrane and on the Cu(II) removal efficiency was studied: feed pH, HCl concentration in the permeate phase, carrier and emulsifier concentration in the membrane phase, feed phase/emulsion phase and permeate phase/membrane phase volume ratios, emulsification time and speed in the primary emulsion preparation and stirring speed in the whole feed phase/emulsion phase system. Typical membrane transport parameters, such as flux and permeability, were also determined. Optimal Cu(II) removal conditions were: 5.5 feed pH, 10 kg/m3 benzoylacetone concentration in the membrane phase, 18.250 kg/m3 HCl concentration in the permeate phase, 50 kg/m3 Span 80 concentration in the membrane phase, 200 rpm stirring rate, 5 min emulsification time, 2700 rpm emulsification rate, 2:1 feed:emulsion volume ratio and 1:1 permeate:membrane volume ratio. In these optimal conditions, 80.3% of Cu(II) was removed in 15 min with an apparent initial flux and permeability of 0.3384 kg·m-3·min-1 and 0.3208 min-1, respectively.

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