Loughborough University
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Ozone membrane contactor to intensify gas/liquid mass transfer and contaminants of emerging concern oxidation

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posted on 2023-03-10, 12:10 authored by Pedro H. Presumido, Rosa Montes, José B. Quintana, Rosario Rodil, Manuel Feliciano, Gianluca Li-PumaGianluca Li-Puma, Ana I. Gomes, Vítor J.P. Vilar

A tubular porous borosilicate membrane contactor was investigated for ozone gas/water mass transfer and the removal of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in water. Ozone gas/water contact occurs on the membrane shell-side, which is coated with a photocatalyst (TiO2-P25), as the ozone gas stream is fed from the lumen side and permeates through the pores generating micro-sized ozone bubbles uniformly delivered to the annular reaction zone where the contaminated water to be treated flows. Under continuous flow, water pH at 3.0 and temperature at 20 ºC, the volumetric mass transfer coefficient (KLa) ranged from 3.5 to 9.0 min-1 and improved with the increase of gas flow rate (QG, 1.5-fold from 0.15 to 1.0 Ndm3 min-1) and liquid flow rate (QL, 2.0-fold from 20 to 50 L h-1), due to enhanced turbulence on the membrane shell-side and annular zone. The mass transfer efficiency was more pronounced as the QG decreased and the QL increased, which is advantageous for large-scale applications. The main resistances to ozone transfer were in the water phase boundary layer (53-76%) and in the membrane (24-47%; kM = (1.14 ± 0.01) × 10-4 m s-1). For an ozone dose of 12 g m-3 and residence time of 3.9 s, removals ≥ 80% were achieved for 13 of 19 CECs spiked in demineralized water (each 10 μg L-1), demonstrating the applicability of this membrane contactor for ozonation treatment. Photocatalytic ozonation (O3/UVC/TiO2) did not significantly improve the treatment performance due to the low residence time inside the contactor.


This work was financially supported by (i) Project NOR-WATER funded by INTERREG VA Spain-Portugal cooperation programme, Cross-Border North Portugal/Galizia Spain Cooperation Program (POCTEP), ref. 0725_NOR_WATER_1_P; (ii) National funds through the FCT/MCTES (PIDDAC), under the project PTDC/EAM-AMB/4702/2020 (OZONE4WATER); (iii) Project “Healthy Waters – Identification, Elimination, Social Awareness and Education of Water Chemical and Biological Micropollutants with Health and Environmental Implications”, with reference NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000069, supported by Norte Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE 2020), under the PORTUGAL 2020 Partnership Agreement, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF); and (iv) LA/P/0045/2020 (ALiCE), UIDB/50020/2020 and UIDP/50020/2020 (LSRE-LCM), and also UIDB/00511/2020 and UIDP/00511/2020 (LEPABE), funded by national funds through FCT/MCTES (PIDDAC). P. H. Presumido acknowledges FCT for his scholarship (SFRH/BD/138756/2018). Vítor J.P. Vilar acknowledges the FCT Individual Call to Scientific Employment Stimulus 2017 (CEECIND/01317/2017). The researchers from the University of Santiago de Compostela would also like to acknowledge funding provided by Xunta de Galicia (ED431C 2021/06), the Spanish Agencia Estatal de Investigación –MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 (ref. PID2020-117686RB-C32) and Banco Santander and Universidade de Santiago de Compostela for the sponsorship of “outstanding researcher contract” of R. Montes.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Chemical Engineering

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Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering








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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Elsevier under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence (CC BY-NC-ND). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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Prof Gianluca Li Puma. Deposit date: 9 March 2023

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