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Groundwater Remediation of Volatile Organic Compounds Using Nanofiltration and Reverse Osmosis Membranes—A Field Study
Membranes, Volume: 11, Issue: 1, Start page: 61
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Groundwater contamination by chlorinated hydrocarbons represents a particularly difficult separation to achieve and very little is published on the subject. In this paper, we explore the potential for the removal of chlorinated volatile and non-volatile organics from a site in Bedfordshire UK. The c...
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Groundwater contamination by chlorinated hydrocarbons represents a particularly difficult separation to achieve and very little is published on the subject. In this paper, we explore the potential for the removal of chlorinated volatile and non-volatile organics from a site in Bedfordshire UK. The compounds of interest include trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (DCE), 2,2-dichloropropane (DCP) and vinyl chloride (VC). The separations were first tested in the laboratory. Microfiltration membranes were of no use in this separation. Nanofiltration membranes performed well and rejections of 70–93% were observed for synthetic solutions and up to 100% for real groundwater samples. Site trials were limited by space and power availability, which resulted in a maximum operating pressure of only 3 bar. Under these conditions, the nanofiltration membrane removed organic materials, but failed to remove VOCs to any significant extent. Initial results with a reverse osmosis membrane were positive, with 93% removal of the VOCs. However, subsequent samples taken demonstrated little removal. Several hypotheses were presented to explain this behavior and the most likely cause of the issue was fouling leading to adsorption of the VOCs onto the membrane and allowing passage through the membrane matrix.
groundwater; reclamation; nanofiltration; VOC
College of Engineering