Performance Evaluation of Hollow Fiber Membrane Contactors for Dispersion-Free Extraction of Cu2+ through Modelling and Simulation
In this work extraction of copper (II) (Cu2+) from aqueous solution has been studied theoretically in commercially available hollow fiber membrane contactors (HFMCs) X-40 and X-50 modules from Liqui CelTM. Trifluoro-acetylacetone (TFA) has been used as extractant. A mathematical model based on resistance-in-series has been presented to investigate the mass transfer mechanism and distribution of Cu2+ at interface. Model simulation was performed for various hydrodynamics and membrane geometrical characteristics in order to determine the solute efficiency, transmembrane flux and height of transfer unit (HTU) for both modules. In case of X-40 module, extraction efficiency reached to 78 % when the feed flowrate was 1.67 m3s-1 while that for X-50, it was found to be just 20 % under same hydrodynamic conditions. On the basis of model results it was inferred that HFMCs could be the appropriate devices for extraction owing to exceptional low HTU value.