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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2018.192
Recovery of water and contaminants from cooling tower plume
Francesca Macedonio1,2, Mirko Frappa1, Adele Brunetti1, Giuseppe Barbieri1, and Enrico Drioli1,2
1National Research Council - Institute on Membrane Technology (ITM-CNR), Via Pietro BUCCI, c/o The University of Calabria, cubo 17C, Rende (CS), 87036, Italy
2Department of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, University of Calabria, Rende (CS), 87036, Italy
Corresponding Author: Francesca Macedonio ,Tel: +39-984-492012, Fax: +39-984-402103, Email: f.macedonio@itm.cnr.it; macedonio@unical.it
Received: May 29, 2018;  Accepted: March 13, 2019.
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Membrane assisted condenser is an innovative membrane operation that exploits the hydrophobic nature of microporous membranes to promote water vapor condensation and recovery. It can be used for water and chemicals recovery from waste gaseous streams. In this work, the testing of membrane condenser for water and ammonia recovery from synthetic streams (i.e., a saturated air stream with ammonia) simulating the plume of cooling tower is illustrated. The modeling of the process was carried out for predicting the membrane-based process performance and for identifying the minimum operating conditions for effectively recovering liquid water. The experimental data were compared with the results achieved through the simulations showing good agreement and confirming the validity of the model. It was found that the recovery of water can be increased growing the temperature difference between the plume and the membrane module (DT), the relative humidity of the plume (RHplume) and the feed flow rate on membrane area ratio (Q/A). Moreover, the concentration of NH3 in the recovered liquid water increased with the growing DT, at increasing NH3 concentration in the fed gaseous stream and at growing relative humidity of the feed.
Keywords: Membrane condenser | Plume of cooling tower | Water recovery
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