The feasibility of a membrane contactor system for ammonia removal was studied. The mass transfer coefficient was used to quantitatively compare the effect of various operation conditions on ammonia removal efficiency. Effective removal of ammonia was possible with a Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane contactor system at all tested conditions. Among the various operation parameters, contact time and solution pH showed significant effect on the ammonia removal mechanism. The overall ammonia removal rate was not affected by influent suspended solution concentration unlike other pressure driven membrane filtration processes. Also the osmotic distillation phenomena which deteriorate the mass transfer efficiency can be minimized by preheating of influent wastewater. A membrane contactor system can be a possible alternative to treat high strength nitrogen wastewater by optimizing operation conditions such as stripping solution flow rate, influent wastewater temperature, and influent pH.
Keywords: ammonia removal, membrane contactor, PTFE membrane