Polymer and Materials Science
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
Reverse osmosis separations of phenol (9.4 to 108 ppm), p-cresol (108 ppm), and p-chlorophenol (129 ppm) were studied using Loeb-Sourirajan-type porous cellulose acetate membranes, and single-solute aqueous feed solutions at 500 psig and the indicated solute concentrations. It was found that, by dissociating the solute by changing the pH of the feed solution, all the above phenols could be separated by reverse osmosis. Solute separation increased with increase in the degree of dissociation of the solute in the feed solution; and, by the appropriate choice of pore size on the membrane surface, separations of phenol approaching the degree of dissociation of phenol in the feed solution could be obtained under the operating conditions used. Similar experiments using aniline (93 ppm) as the solute showed that dissociation of solute molecules in the feed solution could be a technique generally applicable for the reverse osmosis separation of nonionic solutes in aqueous solution. The effects of operating pressure in the range 250 to 1500 psig and pore size on the membrane surface on the separation of un-ionized phenol and p-chlorophenol showed that, with respect to single-solute aqueous feed solutions of phenols, the component whose relative acidity was greater was preferentially sorbed at the cellulose acetate membrane - aqueous solution interface, and the solute concentration in the membrane-permeated product solution was a function of the extent and mobility of each of the sorbed species.
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