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Intensification of ion-exchange processes using monolithic ionic micro-porous polymers

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Galip Akay, Dr Ali Aydin, Omer Calkan, Zainura Noor


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Ion exchange resins are frequently used for water purification and remediation as well as the recovery of ionic species. Although the existing ion exchange resins have porous structures, the pore distribution is very narrow which does not allow the rapid diffusion of the species and the resin surface can foul rapidly in industrial wastewaters. The use of ionic micro-porous polymers in particulate form reduces these adverse effects in ion exchange efficiency. However, due to the channelling effects, the packed bed ion exchange systems are still inefficient. Instead, when micro-porous ion exchange polymers are used in monolithic form, their response is faster and full ion-exchange capacity is utilised. We have now developed micro-porous ion exchange (in sulphonated form) polymeric monoliths which are physically strong and due to its high phase volume (typically 80 - 95%), they cause small pressure drop when contaminated water is passed through the monolith. We used two newly developed sulphonation techniques to functionalise crosslinked styrene- divinylbenzene based micro-porous high internal phase emulsion polymers (known as PolyHIPE Polymers) so that uniform sulphonation across thick polymer section could be achieved without causing fracture to the monolith. These monoliths were then used to remove nickel ions from water using a micro-reactor in a single pass. It is shown that the breakthrough volume decreases with increasing flow rate. In a single pass, over 99% removal efficiency is present before the breakthrough volume Under identical conditions, particulate ion exchange resins in packed bed configuration yield only 50% removal efficiency.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Akay G, Aydin AF, Calkan OF, Noor ZZ

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: CHISA: 17th International Congress of Chemical and Process Engineering

Year of Conference: 2006

Pages: no. 529

Publisher: Czech Society of Chemical Engineering


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 8086059456