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Simulation studies of ammonia removal from water in a membrane contactor under liquid–liquid extraction mode

Mandowara, Amish, Bhattacharya, Prashant K.
Journal of environmental management 2011 v.92 no.1 pp. 121-130
ammonia, aqueous solutions, equations, models, sulfuric acid
Simulation studies were carried out, in an unsteady state, for the removal of ammonia from water via a membrane contactor. The contactor had an aqueous solution of NH₃ in the lumen and sulphuric acid in the shell side. The model equations were developed considering radial and axial diffusion and convection in the lumen. The partial differential equations were converted by the finite difference technique into a series of stiff ordinary differential equations w.r.t. time and solved using MATLAB. Excellent agreement was observed between the simulation results and experimental data (from the literature) for a contactor of 75 fibres. Excellent agreement was also observed between the simulation results and laboratory-generated data from a contactor containing 10,200 fibres. Our model is more suitable than the plug-flow model for designing the operation of the membrane contactor. The plug-flow model over-predicts the fractional removal of ammonia and was observed to be limited when designing longer contactors.