Prediction of Nickel Removal using Diffusion Model in Flat Sheet Supported Liquid Membrane


  • Raja Norimie Raja Sulaiman School of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Universiti Teknologi Malaysia 81310 UTM Skudai, Johor, Malaysia
  • Norasikin Othman Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Kissan Vithilingam School of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Universiti Teknologi Malaysia 81310 UTM Skudai, Johor, Malaysia



Supported liquid membrane, carrier, permeability, diffusion model.


Supported liquid membrane (SLM) is one of the potential extraction methods for the treatment of wastewater containing various toxic heavy metal ions. Advantageously, this process offers simultaneous removal and recovery, as well as low energy consumption and operational cost. In this study, the prediction of nickel removal was investigated using a diffusion model developed through MATLAB. The diffusion model was validated using previous experimental data from SLM experiments. Experimentally, the liquid membrane (LM) solution composed of di-2-ethylhexyl phosphoric acid (D2EHPA) and octanol in palm oil, which were immersed in the pores of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) support. The porosity, thickness, and pore size of PVDF are 75%, 125 µm, and 0.22 µm, respectively. Factors influencing SLM extraction of nickel were investigated, including the initial nickel concentration in the feed phase and the composition of palm oil in the organic LM phase. The permeability, mass transfer, and flux of nickel extraction were also determined. The results showed that 100 ppm of initial nickel concentration in the feed phase with 10% palm oil composition in LM provided the highest extraction performance with maximum permeability, mass transfer, and flux of 1.36 × 10-3 cms-1, 1.02 × 10-3 cms-1, and 9.75 × 10-10 mol cm-2 s-1, respectively. Additionally, the permeability values showed a good correlation with the mass transfer values. The experimental and predicted values are in agreement with the regression value, R2 > 0.9, thus confirming the validity of the model. Hence, it can be concluded that the modified diffusion model is feasible to predict nickel extraction in SLM.

Author Biography

Norasikin Othman, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

School of Chemical and Energy Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
81310 UTM Skudai,
Johor, Malaysia


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