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Detritiation of water using microporous hollow-fiber membranes

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A novel concept of tritium (HTO) removal with microporous hollow fiber membranes was evaluated in this study. Small-scale laboratory modules were constructed and tested to determine the mass transfer characteristics of the hollow fibers under varying system parameters. Tritiated water is pumped through the fiber lumen and air, saturated with water vapor, is pumped over the exterior of the fibers in a countercurrent mode. The high HTO concentration gradient encourages the HTO to diffuse across the porous membrane wall, and to transfer directly into the saturated air stream. A dimensionless mathematical correlation that predicts the tritium transfer coefficient across the membranes is presented for parallel flow modules. The measured overall mass transfer coefficients in the membrane module are two to three orders of magnitude greater than those of conventional bubble stripping. In addition, factors that influence the mass transfer performance of the membrane modules in practical applications are evaluated. The results indicate that very low concentrations of HTO can be separated from water using microporous hollow fiber membranes.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 1997

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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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