Removal and recovery of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) from water using carbon nanotube and graphene oxide immobilized membranes

Worawit Intrchom, Sagar Roy, Somenath Mitra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) is a widely used gasoline additive that has high water solubility, and is difficult to separate from contaminated ground and surface waters. We present the development in functionalized carbon nanotube-immobilized membranes (CNIM-f) and graphene oxide-immobilized membranes (GOIM) for enhanced separation of MTBE via sweep gas membrane distillation (SGMD). Both types of modified membranes demonstrated high performance in MTBE removal from its aqueous mixture. Among the membranes studied, CNIM-f provided the best performance in terms of flux, removal efficiency, mass transfer coefficients and overall selectivity. The immobilization f-CNTs and GO altered the surface characteristics of the membrane and enhanced partition coefficients, and thus assisted MTBE transport across the membrane. The MTBE flux reached as high as 1.4 kg/m2 h with f-CNTs, which was 22% higher than that of the unmodified PTFE membrane. The maximum MTBE removal using CNIM-f reached 56% at 0.5 wt % of the MTBE in water, and at a temperature of 30 C. With selectivity as high as 60, MTBE recovery from contaminated water is very viable using these nanocarbon-immobilized membranes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number578
JournalNanomaterials
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

Keywords

  • Flux enhancement
  • Functionalized carbon nanotube immobilized membranes (CNIM-f)
  • Graphene oxide immobilized membranes (GOIM)
  • MTBE separation
  • Sweep gas membrane distillation (SGMD)

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