• Vol 10, No 3 (2019)
  • Chemical Engineering

NOx Removal from Air through Super Hydrophobic Hollow Fiber Membrane Contactors

Sutrasno Kartohardjono, Nelson Saksono, Dijan Supramono, Popphy Prawati

Corresponding email: sutrasno@che.ui.ac.id


Cite this article as:
Kartohardjono, S., Saksono, N., Supramono, D., Prawati, P., 2019. NOx Removal from Air through Super Hydrophobic Hollow Fiber Membrane Contactors. International Journal of Technology. Volume 10(3), pp. 472-480
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Sutrasno Kartohardjono Process Intensification Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Nelson Saksono Process Intensification Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Dijan Supramono Thermodynamic, Energy and Environmental Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Popphy Prawati Process Intensification Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Email to Corresponding Author

Abstract
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NOx, a generic term for nitrogen oxides, is an air pollutant that can causes damage to the ozone layer, and produces greenhouse effects, acid rain and photochemical smog. It is mainly produced by diesel engine exhaust due to the reaction between nitrogen and oxygen, especially at elevated temperatures. NOx needs to be reduced from flue gas in order to fulfil environment regulations due to its hazardous nature. This study aims to remove NOx from air through absorption using a mixture of H2O2 and HNO3 solutions as an absorbent in the membrane contactors. In the experiment, the feed gas and the absorbent were flowed in the shell side and the lumen fibers, respectively. The flow rates of absorbent and feed gas, as well as the fiber number the membrane contactor, greatly influence the efficiency of NOx removal, mass transfer coefficients and fluxes. The highest values of NOx removal efficiency, mass transfer coefficient and flux achieved in the study were 47%, 8.7×10-5 cm.sec-1, and 3.1×10-5 mmole.cm-2.sec-1, respectively.

Air pollutant; Flux; Mass transfer coefficient; Membrane contactors; Nitrogen oxides

Introduction

Nitrogen oxides (NOx), besides CO2, are key pollutants in the flue gas emitted from the fossil fuel combustion process, and are very hazardous, having harmful effects on the human and global environment, such as damage to the ozone layer, greenhouse effects, formation of acid rain and photochemical smog (Wang et al., 2012; Wang et al., 2014; Zhang et al., 2014; Bueno-López et al., 2016; Ahmad et al., 2017; Yu et al., 2017; Cheng et al., 2018; Nimcharoen et al., 2018). Diesel engines are among the main contributors of NOx emissions into the atmosphere (Zhu et al., 2008; Choi & Lee, 2014; Cheng et al., 2018). Demand for diesel-engined vehicles is steadily growing due to an increase in their fuel consumption efficiency of 20-30% over gasoline vehicles (Li et al., 2009; Choi & Lee, 2014). However, around 80% of the NOx emitted is from such vehicles (Zouzelka & Rathousky, 2017). The formation of NOx in a diesel engine is due to the presence of a mixture

Conclusion

Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are very hazardous pollutants and can have negative effects on human health and the global environment. Several methods have been applied for NOx removal; however, the temperature applied in these is high. The removal of NOx from air by absorption using a mixture of H2O2 and HNO3 solutions through hollow fiber membrane contactors at room temperature has been performed in this study. The amount of NOx absorbed, the flux and the overall mass transfer coefficient were enhanced by an increase in the absorbent as well as the feed gas flow rates, due to increased turbulence in the absorbent and gas boundary layers, respectively. The absorption efficiency of NOx increases in line with the absorbent flow rate, but decreases with the feed gas flow rate. An increase in the number of fibers in the membrane contactor will have an incremental effect on the amount of NOx absorbed and removal efficiency, but will have a decreasing effect on the flux and the overall mass transfer coefficient. The highest values of NOx removal efficiency, mass transfer coefficient and flux achieved in the study were 47%, 8.7×10-5 cm.sec-1, and 3.1×10-5 mmole.cm-2.sec-1, respectively. It is expected that the proposed method could be used as an alternative technique for reducing NOx content in exhaust gas from burning fossil fuels.

Acknowledgement

The authors acknowledge the financial support from the PDUPT Grant through Contract No. 422/UN2.R3.1/HKP05.00/2018 and is partially supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Sustainable Higher Education Research Alliance (SHERA) Program for Universitas Indonesia’s Scientific Modeling, Application, Research and Training for City-centered Innovation and Technology (SMART CITY) Project, Grant #AID-497-A-1600004, Sub Grant #IIE-00000078-UI-1.

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