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Multicomponent adsorption of volatile organic chemicals from air stripper offgas

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Air stripping for the efficient removal of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) from contaminated groundwater is used in drinking water purification and hazardous waste site remediation. As air quality regulations become more stringent, emission controls such as granular activated carbon (GAC) will be required on the air stripper offgases. Often air stripper-GAC adsorber interactions are neglected with the air stripper design optimized and the GAC adsorber designed for the resulting offgases, leading to unrealistically high operating costs.

This paper presents a multicomponent offgas adsorption model which is used to calculate the carbon breakthrough curves. Due to its generality and ease of application, the Polanyi equilibrium potential theory is used to describe the equilibrium sorption isotherms. These are combined with the hydraulics and mass-transfer kinetics to calculate chemical breakthrough curves. The model is calibrated using data from a pilot-scale unit treating a contaminated groundwater containing seven chlorinated VOCs. Application of the model to temperature effects on GAC adsorber design and the impact of regeneration frequency on carcinogenic risk are presented.

Keywords: activated carbon; air stripping; groundwater; hazardous waste; model; offgas; volatile organic compounds

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 1993

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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