Treatment of water contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is a major problem for the United States chemical industry. Currently, VOCs are removed from moderately contaminated wastewater streams by processes such as steam stripping and from dilute wastewaters by air stripping combined with a carbon adsorption off-gas treatment system. This paper describes the development and performance of a hybrid process that combines air stripping with membrane organic-vapor separation to recover VOCs from the stripper off-gas. A number of prototype systems have been constructed and evaluated. The optimum system appears to be a tray stripper fitted with a high-pressure compression-condensation membrane separation unit. Such a system can remove 95 to 99% of the VOCs present in contaminated water; the removed VOCs are recovered as a liquid condensate. The economics of the technology are competitive with alternative processes, particularly for streams containing more than 500 ppm VOC and having flow rates less than 10 to 30 gal/min.
Wijmans, J. G., Kamaruddin, H. D., Segelke, S. V., Wessling, M., & Baker, R. W. (1997). Removal of dissolved VOCs from water with an air stripper/membrane vapor separation system. Separation science and technology, 32(14), 2267-2287. https://doi.org/10.1080/01496399708000768