Regular articles

Absorption and recovery of n-hexane in aqueous solutions of fluorocarbon surfactants

Bo Yan , Jiamo Fu , Xianming Xiao , Xiao Xiao


Received January 03, 2015,Revised February 22, 2015, Accepted March 12, 2015, Available online June 26, 2015

Volume 37,2015,Pages 163-171

n-Hexane is widely used in industrial production as an organic solvent. As an industrial exhaust gas, the contribution of n-hexane to air pollution and damage to human health are attracting increasing attention. In the present study, aqueous solutions of two fluorocarbon surfactants (FSN100 and FSO100) were investigated for their properties of solubilization and dynamic absorption of n-hexane, as well as their capacity for regeneration and n-hexane recovery by thermal distillation. The results show that the two fluorocarbon surfactants enhance dissolution and absorption of n-hexane, and their effectiveness is closely related to their concentrations in solution. For low concentration solutions (0.01%–0.30%), the partition coefficient decreases dramatically and the saturation capacity increases significantly with increasing concentration, but the changes for both are more modest when the concentration is over 0.30%. The FSO100 solution presents a smaller partition coefficient and a greater saturation capacity than the FSN100 solution at the same concentration, indicating a stronger solubilization for n-hexane. Thermal distillation is a feasible method to recover n-hexane from these absorption solutions, and to regenerate them. With 90 sec heating at 80–85°C, the recovery of n-hexane ranges between 81% and 85%, and the regenerated absorption solution maintains its original performance during reuse. This study provides basic information on two fluorocarbon surfactants for application in the treatment of industrial n-hexane waste gases.

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