A new hollow-fiber membrane remediation system has recently been developed to passively supply groundwater with dissolved hydrogen (H2) to stimulate the biodegradation of chlorinated solvents. Understanding the mass transfer behavior of membranes under conditions of creeping flow is critical for the design of such systems. Therefore, the objectives of this research were to evaluate the gas transfer behavior of hollow-fiber membranes under conditions typical of groundwater flow and to assess the effect of membrane configuration on gas transfer performance. Membrane gas transfer was evaluated using laboratory-scale glass columns operated at low flow velocities (8.6-12,973cm/d). H2 was supplied to the inside of the membrane fibers while water flowed on the outside and normal to the fibers (i.e. cross-flow). Membrane configuration (single fiber and fabric) and membrane spacing for the fabric modules did not affect gas transfer performance. Therefore, the results from all of the experiments were combined to obtain the following dimensionless Sherwood number (Sh) correlation expressed as a function of Reynolds number (Re) and Schmidt number (Sc): Sh=0.824Re0.39Sc0.33 (0.0004<Re<0.6). This correlation is useful for predicting the rate of transfer of any gas from clean membranes to flowing water at low Re. This correlation provides a basis for estimating the membrane surface area requirements for groundwater remediation as illustrated by a simple example.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was principally funded by the United States Department of Defense's Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, with additional support provided by the University of Minnesota.
- Gas transfer
- Hollow-fiber membranes
- Sherwood number