Reclamation of contaminated groundwater using cooking oils in a novel, eco-friendly and high-efficiency solvent extraction process

Hassan A. Arafat, Allen J. Bakel, Andrew K. Dilger, Kenneth L. Nash, Paul G. Rickert, George F. Vandegrift

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, a new eco-friendly process was developed for the removal of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from contaminated groundwater. The new process included two steps. The first step is a solvent extraction process using a high-efficiency centrifugal contactor, in which the VOC's were extracted from the groundwater using cooking oils, acting as safe and environment-friendly solvents. In the second step, the VOC's were removed from the oil by a distillation process, after which the cooking oil can be recycled for another extraction. Using five cooking oils, distribution ratios showed high affinity of the VOC's to the oil phase, indicating efficient extraction. Hydraulic tests showed that corn oil performed best in terms of ease of mixing and separation from the water. A stage efficiency test showed that high stage efficiency, in excess of 90%, can be achieved in the centrifugal contactor. Finally, a distillation test, using a wiped-film distillation unit, showed that more than 95% of the VOC can be removed from the oil under mild operating conditions. Based on these results, a proof-of-concept for the new technology was achieved.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)9-21
Number of pages13
JournalDesalination
Volume321
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 Jul 2013

Keywords

  • Centrifugal contactor
  • Cooking oil
  • Decontamination
  • Distillation
  • Groundwater reclamation
  • Solvent extraction
  • VOC

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