Final Report: Removal and Recovery of VOCs and Oils from Surfactant-Flushed Recovered Water by Membrane Permeation

EPA Grant Number: R825511C027
Subproject: this is subproject number 027 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825511
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: HSRC (1989) - Northeast HSRC
Center Director: Sidhu, Sukh S.
Title: Removal and Recovery of VOCs and Oils from Surfactant-Flushed Recovered Water by Membrane Permeation
Investigators: Sirkar, Kamalesh K.
Institution: New Jersey Institute of Technology
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 15, 1997 through January 14, 1999
RFA: Hazardous Substance Research Centers - HSRC (1989) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Hazardous Substance Research Centers , Land and Waste Management


Surfactant-enhanced subsurface remediation processes are very effective for the cleanup of organic subsurface contamination. However, process economics dictate that the recovered water must be treated above ground to remove the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and subsequently recover the surfactant for reuse. The subsurface-entrapped organic pollutants often have high boiling oils along with VOCs. Any above ground treatment of the recovered water must, therefore, address the simultaneous removal and recovery of these high boiling components. The objective of this project is to study hydrophobic microporous hollow fiber membrane-based permeation process for the treatment of recovered water from surfactant-enhanced subsurface remediation process with the goal of developing a one-step process for removing VOCs as well as high boiling oils without removing the surfactant from the water.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

Rationale: Conventional pervaporation processes are ill suited for the removal and recovery of nonvolatile organic compounds present in the surfactant-flushed water as these compounds have low vapor pressures. In this permeation technique, an oil in water micro emulsion feed flows through the microporous hydrophobic hollow fiber bore under pressure. The micro emulsion wets the pore allowing oil to collect in the hydrophobic pore. The fiber has a nonporous silicone coating. A positive feed pressure drives the permeation of oil through this coating. When volatiles (VOCs) and nonvolatiles (oils) are present in surfactant-flushed water, the recovered water to be treated flows on one side of the membrane and vacuum is pulled on the other side. A positive feed pressure is applied to ensure additional driving force for the oil contaminant. The membrane is highly selective to VOCs over water. The VOCs dissolve in the membrane, diffuse through it and are evaporated on the other side of the membrane. The VOCs are collected in a condenser. The nonvolatile oil component passes through the membrane by diffusion and is collected as oil drops.

Approach: A small membrane module containing microporous hydrophobic polypropylene hollow fibers having a thin plasma polymerized silicone coating is being used for this study. The capabilities of separating a high boiling oil (n-dodecane) and a VOC (TCE) from a feed solution are being studied via two processes. In one process TCE is removed by pervaporation and n-dodecane by permeation; whereas in the second process both are removed in one liquid stream by permeation through the membrane.

Status: The bench scale study is nearing completion. Individual and combined removal of n-dodecane and TCE have been achieved via the membrane permeation process. The process has been shown to effectively demulsify and separate VOCs, oils from oil-in-water emulsions in the presence of surfactants, e.g., sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS).

Technology Transfer And Outreach Plan: The proposed technology uses hollow fiber membrane modules made by AMT, Inc., Minnetonka, MN. We have had several discussions with them. They are aware of the considerable potential of this technology. Groundwater contamination by nonaqueous phase pool liquids containing VOCs and oils is widespread in military and industrial facilities. The company (AMT) is in the process of developing larger scale modules. After successful completion of the bench-scale studies, we would like to demonstrate the process at an appropriate site. We will approach the Technology Transfer and Training program of NHSRC and/or EPA for demonstration funds. If successful, AMT, Inc. will be able to supply modules for larger scale treatment.

Results of this bench scale study will be presented at appropriate engineering society conferences. We will also submit articles for publication in peer-reviewed academic journals.

Journal Articles on this Report : 7 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 15 publications 7 publications in selected types All 7 journal articles
Other center views: All 131 publications 39 publications in selected types All 39 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Abou-Nemeh I, Das A, Saraf A, Sirkar KK. A composite hollow fiber membrane-based pervaporation process for separation of VOCs from aqueous surfactant solutions. Journal of Membrane Science 1999;158(1-2):187-209. R825511C027 (Final)
  • Full-text: ScienceDirect-Full Text HTML
  • Abstract: ScienceDirect-Abstract
  • Other: SceinceDIrect-Full Text PDF
  • Journal Article Abou-Nemeh I, Majumdar S, Saraf A, Sirkar KK, Vane LM, Alvarez FR, Hitchens L. Demonstration of pilot-scale pervaporation systems for volatile organic compound removal from a surfactant enhanced aquifer remediation fluid. II. Hollow fiber membrane modules. Environmental Progress 2001;20(1):64-73. R825511C027 (Final)
  • Abstract: Wiley-Abstract
  • Journal Article Chilukuri R, Yang Z-F, Sirkar KK. Batch extraction studies of cationic and anionic heavy metallic species by a mixed solvent extraction system. Separation Science and Technology 1998;33(16):2559-2578. R825511C027 (Final)
  • Abstract: Taylor&Francis-abstract
  • Journal Article Das A, Abou-Nemeh I, Chandra S, Sirkar KK. Membrane-moderated stripping process for removing VOCs from water in a composite hollow fiber module. Journal of Membrane Science 1998;148(2):257-271. R825511C027 (Final)
  • Full-text: ScienceDirect-Full Text HTML
  • Abstract: ScienceDirect-Abstract
  • Other: ScienceDirect-Full Text PDF
  • Journal Article Majumdar S, Bhaumik D, Sirkar KK, Simes G. A pilot-scale demonstration of a membrane-based absorption-stripping process for removal and recovery of volatile organic compounds. Environmental Progress 2001;20(1):27-35. R825511C027 (Final)
  • Abstract: Wiley-Abstract
  • Journal Article Obuskovic G, Poddar TK, Sirkar KK. Flow swing membrane absorption-permeation. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 1998;37(1):212-220. R825511C027 (Final)
  • Full-text: ResearchGate-Abstract and PDF
  • Abstract: I&EC Res-Abstract
  • Journal Article Xia B, Majumdar S, Sirkar KK. Regenerative oil scrubbing of volatile organic compounds from a gas stream in hollow fiber membrane devices. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 1999;38(9):3462-3472. R825511C027 (Final)
  • Abstract: I&EC Res-Abstract
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    Volatile Organic Carbons, VOCs, Oil, Surfactant, Membranes, Permeation., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Water, Waste, Chemical Engineering, Contaminated Sediments, Environmental Chemistry, Remediation, Analytical Chemistry, Hazardous Waste, Ecology and Ecosystems, Hazardous, Environmental Engineering, hazardous waste management, hazardous waste treatment, risk assessment, sediment treatment, environmental technology, contaminant transport, contaminated marine sediment, in situ remediation, soil and groundwater remediation, permeable reactive barrier, VOCs, contaminated sediment, remediation technologies, chemical contaminants, chemical transport, contaminated soil, marine sediments, surfactant reuse, VOC recovery, technology transfer, extraction of metals, permeable barrier technology, groundwater

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 1997

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825511    HSRC (1989) - Northeast HSRC

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825511C001 Development of Mechanisms and Kinetic Models on Formation of Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins and Dibenzofurans from Aromatic Precursors
    R825511C002 Real-Time Monitoring and Control of Emissions from Stationary Combustors and Incinerators
    R825511C003 Development of Sampling Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
    R825511C004 Investigation into the Effectiveness of DNAPL Remediation Strategies in Fractured Media
    R825511C005 Advanced Leak Detection and Location Research: Extending the SERDP-funded Technical Base
    R825511C006 Three-Dimensional Geostatistical Site Characterization with Updating
    R825511C007 Anaerobic Biodegradation of PAHs in Soils and Dredged Sediments: Characterizing, Monitoring and Promoting Remediation
    R825511C008 Substrate Accelerated Death and Extended Lag Phases as Causes of the Recalcitrance of Halogenated Compounds in Anoxic Environments
    R825511C009 Fate and Transport of Nonionic Surfactants
    R825511C010 In Situ Degradation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons and PAHs in Contaminated Salt Marsh Sediments
    R825511C011 Design and Operation of Surfactant-Enhanced Bioslurry Reactors
    R825511C012 Experimental Study of Overland Transport of Cryptosporidium parvum Oocysts
    R825511C013 Development of a Framework for Evaluation of Leaching from Solid Waste
    R825511C014 Use of a New Leaching Test Framework for Evaluating Alternative Treatment Processes for Mercury Contaminated Mixed Waste (Hazardous and Radioactive)
    R825511C015 Field Pilot Test of In Situ Ultrasonic Enhancement Coupled With Soil Fracturing to Detoxify Contaminated Soil
    R825511C016 Development of Sampling Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
    R825511C017 Field Demonstration of the Use of Reactive Zero-Valence Iron Powder to Treat Source Zone Sites Impacted by Halogenated Volatile Organic Chemicals
    R825511C018 Technology Transfer of Continuous Non-Methane Organic Carbon (C-NMOC) Analyzer
    R825511C019 Field Sampling and Treatability Study for In-Situ Remediation of PCB's and Leachable Lead with Iron Powder
    R825511C020 Experimental and Modeling Studies of Chlorocarbon Incineration, PIC Formation, and Emissions Control
    R825511C021 Experimental Studies and Numerical Modeling of Turbulent Combustion During Thermal Treatment of Hazardous Wastes: Applied Research for the Generation of Design and Diagnostic Tools
    R825511C022 Electrochemical Sensor for Heavy Metals in Groundwater - Phase IV
    R825511C023 Novel Molecular Tools for Monitoring In-Situ Bioremediation
    R825511C024 Surfactant-Enhanced Bioremediation of Soils in the Presence of an Organic Phase
    R825511C025 Enhanced Microbial Dechlorination of PCBs and Dioxins in Contaminated Dredge Spoils
    R825511C026 Toward A Risk-Based Model for Bioremediation of Multicomponent NAPL Contaminants
    R825511C027 Removal and Recovery of VOCs and Oils from Surfactant-Flushed Recovered Water by Membrane Permeation
    R825511C029 Field Pilot Test of In-Situ Ultrasonic Enhancement Coupled With Soil Fracturing to Detoxify Contaminated Soil in Cooperation with McLaren/Hart Environmental Engineers at the Hillsborough, NJ Site
    R825511C030 In-Situ Field Test of Electroremediation of a Chromate-Contaminated Site in Hudson County, New Jersey
    R825511C031 Electrokinetic Removal of Heavy Metals and Mixed Hazardous Wastes from Partially and Fully Saturated Soils
    R825511C032 Effects of Clay Charge and Confining Stresses on Soil Remediation by Electroosmosis
    R825511C033 Assessment of Surfactant Enhanced Bioremediation for Soils/Aquifers Containing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
    R825511C034 In-Situ Bioremediation of Organic Compounds: Coupling of Mass Transfer and Biodegradation
    R825511C035 Investigation into the Effectiveness of DNAPL Remediation Strategies in Fractured Media
    R825511C036 Field Pilot Scale Demonstration of Trench Bio-Sparge: An In-Situ Groundwater Treatment Technology
    R825511C037 In-Situ Reductive Dehalogenation of Aliphatic Compounds by Fermentative Heterotrophic Bacteria
    R825511C038 The Effect of Carbon-Nitrogen Ratios on Bacterial Transport and Biodegradation Rates In Soils
    R825511C039 Ultrasonic Enhancement of Soil Fracturing Technologies for In-Situ Detoxification of Contaminated Soil
    R825511C040 Full Field Demonstration of Integrated Pneumatic Fracturing and In-Situ Bioremediation
    R825511C041 Determination of Adsorption and Desorption Behavior of Petroleum Products on Soils
    R825511C042 Evaluation of the Potential for Complete Bioremediation of NAPL-Contaminated Soils Containing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
    R825511C043 Characterization of Subsurface NAPL Distributions at Heterogeneous Field Sites
    R825511C044 Development of a Thermal Desorption Gas Chromatograph/Microwave Induced Plasma/Mass Spectrometer (TDGC/MIP/MS) for On-site Analysis of Organic and Metal Contaminants
    R825511C045 Using Trainable Networks for a Three-dimensional Characterization of Subsurface Contamination
    R825511C046 Application of Advanced Waste Characterization to Soil Washing and Treatment
    R825511C047 Electrochemical Sensor for Heavy Metals in Groundwater Phase III
    R825511C048 Improved Luminescence Sensors for Oxygen Measurement
    R825511C049 Preconcentration, Speciation and Determination of Dissolved Heavy Metals in Natural Waters, using Ion Exchange and Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry
    R825511C050 Experimental and Modeling Studies of Chlorocarbon Incineration and PIC Formation
    R825511C051 PIC Emission Minimization: Fundamentals and Applications
    R825511C052 Project Title: Development of a Two Stage, Pulse Combustion, VOC Destruction Technology
    R825511C053 Development of Sampling Systems for Continuous Monitoring of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
    R825511C054 FTIR Analysis of Gaseous Products from Hazardous Waste Combustion
    R825511C055 Toxic Metals Volatilization for Waste Separation and Real-time Metals Analyses
    R825511C056 Mixed Metal Removal and Recovery by Hollow Fiber Membrane-Based Extractive Adsorber
    R825511C057 Removal of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from Contaminated Groundwater and Soils by Pervaporation
    R825511C058 Simultaneous SO2/NO Removal/Recovery by Hollow Fiber Membrane
    R825511C059 Superfund Sites and Mineral Industries Method
    R825511C060 Soil Washing of Mixed Organics/Metal Contamination
    R825511C061 Removal of Cesium, Strontium, Americium, Technetium and Plutonium from Radioactive Wastewater
    R825511C062 Development of a Method for Removal of Nonvolatile Organic Materials from Soil using Flotation
    R825511C063 Recovery of Evaporative Fuel Losses by Vapor Permeation Membranes
    R825511C064 Surfactant Selection Protocol for Ex Situ Soil Washing
    R825511C065 Biofiltration for the Control of Toxic Industrial VOCs Emissions
    R825511C066 Catalytic Oxidation of Volatile Organic Compounds in Water
    R825511C067 Soil Washing for Remediating Metal Contaminated Soils
    R825511C068 Aqueous Absorption and Kinetics of NO by Strong Oxidizing Agents
    R825511C069 Remediation of Dredging Spoils
    R825511C070 Freeze Concentration for Zero-Effluent Processes
    R825511C071 Life Cycle/Pollution Prevention Response to Executive Order 12856
    R825511C072 Faster Better, Cheaper Hazardous Waste Site Characterization and Cleanup: an Adaptive Sampling and Analysis Strategy Employing Dynamic Workplans
    R825511C073 Development of a Comprehensive Computer Model for the Pneumatic Fracturing Process
    R825511C074 Technology Demonstration and Validation of CFAST Field Analytical Instrumentation for Use in Hazardous Waste Site Characterization, Clean-up and Monitoring
    R825511C075 XFLOW: Training Software Simulating Contaminant Site Characterization and Remediation