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Effect of Flowrate and Coolant Temperature on the Efficiency of Progressive Freeze Concentration on Simulated Wastewater

Authors: M. Jusoh, R. Mohd Yunus, M. A. Abu Hassan


Freeze concentration freezes or crystallises the water molecules out as ice crystals and leaves behind a highly concentrated solution. In conventional suspension freeze concentration where ice crystals formed as a suspension in the mother liquor, separation of ice is difficult. The size of the ice crystals is still very limited which will require usage of scraped surface heat exchangers, which is very expensive and accounted for approximately 30% of the capital cost. This research is conducted using a newer method of freeze concentration, which is progressive freeze concentration. Ice crystals were formed as a layer on the designed heat exchanger surface. In this particular research, a helical structured copper crystallisation chamber was designed and fabricated. The effect of two operating conditions on the performance of the newly designed crystallisation chamber was investigated, which are circulation flowrate and coolant temperature. The performance of the design was evaluated by the effective partition constant, K, calculated from the volume and concentration of the solid and liquid phase. The system was also monitored by a data acquisition tool in order to see the temperature profile throughout the process. On completing the experimental work, it was found that higher flowrate resulted in a lower K, which translated into high efficiency. The efficiency is the highest at 1000 ml/min. It was also found that the process gives the highest efficiency at a coolant temperature of -6 °C.

Keywords: freeze concentration, ice crystals, progressive freeze concentration, freeze wastewater treatment

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