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Novel fibers for the sorption of chlorinated solvents were developed by the Department of Textile Engineering at Auburn University. These fibers were prepared by coating ordinary fibers (nylon, cotton, polypropylene) with latex or vinyl emulsions. These emulsions have been selected for their ability to specifically absorb chlorinated organic compounds. The fiber base can be either woven or non-woven in nature, which allows for a large number of potential applications. The efficacy of these fibers, for removing chlorinated organic solvents, was tested using perchloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), and vinyl chloride (VC) as model compounds. Standard isotherm and column tests were performed to assess solvent removal. Additionally, headloss through the column was measured for waters containing various TSS concentrations.

A comparison of PCE removal isotherms for a non-woven polypropylene fiber and activated carbon (Calgon React-A) demonstrated that the coated fiber had a higher sorptive capacity than did the activated carbon. Additionally, kinetic testing demonstrated that equilibrium was achieved in less than three hours. To determine the feasibility of using the fiber in “packed-bed” or column configurations, column testing was performed in 1 inch diameter glass chromatography columns packed with 6 inches of non-woven polypropylene fiber. The results of column runs using 180 ppm and 3.5 ppm PCE influents demonstrated a high sorptive capacity. However, rapid break through would necessitate the use of a series of columns. Thus, the material appears to be well suited for removing chlorinated organics from water. The packed columns also demonstrated excellent hydraulic characteristics.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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