Liquid-phase membrane extraction of targeted pesticides from manufacturing wastewaters in a hollow fibre contactor with feed-stream recycle
A two-phase membrane extraction in a hollow fibre contactor with feed-stream recycle was applied to remove selected pesticides (tebufenozide, linuron, imidacloprid, acetamiprid and dimethoate) from their mixed aqueous solutions. The contactor consisted of 50 polypropylene hollow fibres impregnated with 5% tri-n-octylphosphine oxide in di-n-hexyl ether. For low-polar pesticides with log P ≥ 2 (tebufenozide and linuron), the maximum removal efficiency increased linearly from 85% to 96% with increasing the feed flow rate. The maximum removal efficiencies of more polar pesticides were significantly higher under feed recirculation (86%) than in a continuous single-pass operation (30%). It was found from the Wilson’s plot that the mass transfer resistance of the liquid membrane can be neglected for low-polar pesticides. The pesticide removals from commercial formulations were similar to those from pure pesticide solutions, indicating that built-in adjuvants did not affect the extraction process.