Removing Phosphonate Antiscalants from Membrane Concentrate Solutions using Ferric Hydroxide Adsorbents
Keywordsgranular ferric hydroxide
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractPhosphonate antiscalants are commonly used in nanofiltration and reverse osmosis water treatment to prevent membrane fouling by mineral scale. In many circumstances it is desirable to remove these phosphonate compounds before concentrate disposal or further treatment. This research investigated the removal of phosphonate compounds from simulated membrane concentrate solutions using ferric hydroxide adsorbents. Two phosphonate antiscalants were investigated, Permatreat 191® (PT191) and nitrilotrimethylphosphonic acid (NTMP). Batch adsorption isotherms and column breakthrough and regeneration experiments were performed on two commercial adsorbents and a ferric hydroxide loaded polyacrylonitrile fiber adsorbent prepared in our laboratory. The best performing adsorbent was Granular Ferric Hydroxide® (GFH) obtained from GEH Wasserchemie. Adsorption isotherms measured after 24-hour equilibration periods showed initial concentration effects, whereby the isotherms were dependent on the initial adsorbate concentration in solution. Significant differences in adsorption behavior were observed between the PT191 and the NTMP adsorbates. Differences in adsorption behavior between NTMP and PT191 are all consistent with the PT191 containing fewer phosphonate functional groups per molecule than NTMP. Desorption rates were bimodal, with 40-50% of the adsorbed phosphonate being released on a time scale of 10-24 hours, while the remaining fraction was released approximately one order of magnitude more slowly. The slow desorbing fraction primarily resulted from equilibrium effects resulting from significant phosphonate adsorption, even in 1.0 mol/L NaOH solutions. Complete regeneration could not be achieved, even after eluting the adsorbent columns with more than 300 bed volumes of 1.0 mol/L NaOH. However, the incomplete regeneration had only a minor effect on phosphonate uptake in subsequent column breakthrough experiments.
Degree ProgramGraduate College