Application of modified Maxwell-Stefan equation for separation of aqueous phenol by pervaporation
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Pervaporation has the potential to be an alternative to the other traditional separation processes such as distillation, adsorption, reverse osmosis and extraction. This study investigates the separation of phenol from water using a polyurethane membrane by pervaporation by applying the modified Maxwell-Stephen model. The modified Maxwell-Stefan model takes into account the non-ideal multi-component solubility effect, nonideal diffusivity of all permeating components, concentration dependent density of the membrane and diffusion coupling to predict various fluxes. Four cases has been developed to investigate the process parameters effects on the flux and weight fraction of phenol in the permeate values namely feed concentration, membrane thickness, operating temperature and operating downstream pressure. The model could describe semi-quantitatively the performance of the pervaporation membrane for the given system as a very good agreement between the observed and theoretical fluxes was observed.
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