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Metals 2017, 7(1), 19; doi:10.3390/met7010019

Optimization of Copper Removal from Aqueous Solutions Using Emulsion Liquid Membranes with Benzoylacetone as a Carrier

1
Departamento de Ciencias Politécnicas, UCAM, Campus de los Jerónimos, Guadalupe, 30107 Murcia, Spain
2
Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Ambiental, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, 30203 Cartagena, Spain
3
Departamento de Química Agrícola, Geología y Edafología, Facultad de Química, Universidad de Murcia, 30169 Murcia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hugo F. Lopez
Received: 5 December 2016 / Revised: 20 December 2016 / Accepted: 4 January 2017 / Published: 10 January 2017
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Abstract

The presence of heavy metals in aqueous solutions above certain limits represents a serious threat to the environment due to their toxicity and non-degradability. Thus, the removal of these metals from contaminated waters has received increasing attention during recent decades. This paper describes the removal of Cu(II) from aqueous solutions by emulsion liquid membranes, through a carrier-facilitated counter-transport mechanism, using benzoylacetone as the carrier and HCl as the stripping agent (protons as counter-ions). To optimize the Cu(II) removal process, the effect of the following operating parameters on the on the stability of the emulsion liquid membrane and on the Cu(II) removal efficiency was studied: feed pH, HCl concentration in the permeate phase, carrier and emulsifier concentration in the membrane phase, feed phase/emulsion phase and permeate phase/membrane phase volume ratios, emulsification time and speed in the primary emulsion preparation and stirring speed in the whole feed phase/emulsion phase system. Typical membrane transport parameters, such as flux and permeability, were also determined. Optimal Cu(II) removal conditions were: 5.5 feed pH, 10 kg/m3 benzoylacetone concentration in the membrane phase, 18.250 kg/m3 HCl concentration in the permeate phase, 50 kg/m3 Span 80 concentration in the membrane phase, 200 rpm stirring rate, 5 min emulsification time, 2700 rpm emulsification rate, 2:1 feed:emulsion volume ratio and 1:1 permeate:membrane volume ratio. In these optimal conditions, 80.3% of Cu(II) was removed in 15 min with an apparent initial flux and permeability of 0.3384 kg·m−3·min−1 and 0.3208 min−1, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: emulsion liquid membrane; copper(II); benzoylacetone; carrier mediated countertransport emulsion liquid membrane; copper(II); benzoylacetone; carrier mediated countertransport
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

León, L.; León, G.; Senent, J.; Pérez-Sirvent, C. Optimization of Copper Removal from Aqueous Solutions Using Emulsion Liquid Membranes with Benzoylacetone as a Carrier. Metals 2017, 7, 19.

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