Date of Award

Fall 1994

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Dana E. Knox

Second Advisor

Demetri P. Petrides

Third Advisor

Norman W. Loney

Abstract

A variety of volatile organic solvents used in the pharmaceutical and specialty chemical industries end up in wastewater collection and treatment systems. EPA has classified these VOCs into groups depending on their potential to volatilize from the wastewaters. In making this classification, Henry's Law, which is valid at very low concentrations, has been used to describe the vapor-liquid equilibrium. But, in reality the concentrations observed in the wastewaters are often too high for Henry's Law to be valid and it is inappropriate to assume that equilibrium has been achieved for every compound.

This project evaluates the volatilization rates, both experimental and theoretical, of VOCs (namely methanol, acetone and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)) under a number of different operating scenarios. These different scenarios (e.g., quiescent, agitated, aerated, different free surface area exposed to the ambient air, different shapes of the vessel etc.) are supposed to closely simulate the range of different conditions that the VOCs are subjected to in the wastewater collection and treatment facilities in the industry. The aim is to determine how closely these compounds reach the equilibrium described by the Henry's Law, when subjected to the different scenarios.

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