This study deals with the removal of chromium species from aqueous dilute solutions using polymer-enhanced ultrafiltration (PEUF) process. Three water soluble polymers, namely chitosan, polyethyleneimine (PEI) and pectin were selected for this study. The ultrafiltration studies were carried out using a laboratory scale ultrafiltration system equipped with 500,000 MWCO polysulfone hollow fiber membrane. The effects of pH and polymer composition on rejection coefficient and permeate flux at constant pressure have been investigated. For Cr(III), high rejections approaching 100% were obtained at pH higher than 7 for the three tested polymers. With chitosan and pectin, Cr(VI) retention showed a slight increase with solution pH and did not exceed a value of 50%. An interesting result was obtained with PEI. The retention of Cr(VI) approached 100% at low pH and decreased when the pH was increased. This behavior is opposite to what one can expect in the polymer-enhanced ultrafiltration of heavy metals. Furthermore, the concentration of polymer was found to have little effect on rejection. Permeate flux remained almost constant around 25% of pure water flux.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.