Selecting among physical/chemical processes for removing synthetic organics from water

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A rational framework for selecting the least-cost treatment technology for aqueous organic wastes was developed by using performance and cost models. The following three treatment options were evaluated for 15 different chemicals in this research: packed tower air stripping, packed tower air stripping followed by gas-phase adsorption (granular activated carbon) of off-gases, and liquid-phase adsorption (granular activated carbon). The least-cost air stripping tower design was found to change when off-gas treatment was added. Air stripping without off-gas treatment was determined to be less expensive than liquid-phase adsorption in nearly every case. A methodology was created for comparing the relative costs of liquid-phase adsorption and air stripping with gas-phase adsorption. The comparison methodology is based upon physical parameters of the target chemical: Henry's constant and the solute distribution parameter. The result is a diagram for rapid identification of cases for which one treatment option is significantly less expensive than the other.

Keywords: Henry's constant; activated carbon; adsorption; air stripping; costs; models; organics

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 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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