Ammonia nitrogen (NH4-N) contaminated wastewater has posed a great threat to the safety of water resources. In this study, air stripping was employed to remove and recover NH4-N from acetylene purification wastewater (APW) in a polyvinylchloride manufacturing plant. Investigated parameters were initial APW pH, air flow rate, APW temperature and stripping time. The NH4-N removal by air stripping has been modeled and the overall volumetric mass transfer coefficient (KLa) of the stripping process has been calculated from the model equation obtained. In addition, the ability of H2SO4 solution to absorb the NH3 stripped was also investigated. The results indicated that under the experimental conditions, the APW temperature and its initial pH had significant effects on the NH4-N removal efficiency and the KLa, while the effects of other factors were relatively minor. The removal efficiency and residual concentration of NH4-N were about 91% and 12 mg/L, respectively, at the optimal operating conditions of initial APW pH of 12.0, air flow rate of 0.500 m3/(h·L), APW temperature of 60 °C and stripping time of 120 min. One volume of H2SO4 solution (0.2 mol/L) could absorb about 93% of the NH3 stripped from 54 volumes of the APW.
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