The Ohio State University, MS
Carl J. Apicella Scholar 2016
An Integrated Forward Osmosis-Membrane Distillation Membrane Process for Flue Gas Desulfurization Wastewater Treatment
The overall goal of Vinny’s research is to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of an integrated Forward Osmosis (FO) – Membrane Distillation (MD) process to reclaim wastewater produced through flue gas desulfurization (FGD) process of coal combustion power generation facilities. The proposed FO-MD system would be utilized to extract water from FGD wastewaters for clean discharge or plant reuse.
In the U.S., approximately 80% of FGD systems in power generation facilities are wet scrubbing, generating FGD wastewater. Regulations require FGD wastewater to be treated, to lower and lower contaminant levels, before discharge back into source waters. Due to the complex nature of FGD wastewater, multiple treatment approaches are combined in an effort to meet acceptable contaminant levels for discharge. Current best available technologies (BATs), such as biological processes and constructed wetlands, struggle to effectively and consistently treat FGD wastewater to the regulatory limits.
A FO-MD process is non selective and can theoretically remove all soluble pollutants, including those that are not removed by conventional and BATs treatment processes. FO-MD processes have proven capable of treating similar complex wastewaters but, have not yet been applied to FGD wastewater. Forward osmosis and membrane distillation are low energy process, with the ability to exploit the chemical potential and low grade heat of FGD wastewater in order to drive a FO-MD system.
Vinny’s research focuses on determining essential design parameters and operation experiences to further develop a large scale FO-MD system for FGD wastewater treatment. This includes a fundamental understanding of membrane fouling and clearing mechanisms during FO-MD operation. Analysis will also be completed on the chemical and leaching characteristics of the residual produced the FO-MD process.
Vinny Anderson received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from The Ohio State University in December 2015. When offered the opportunity to be a graduate research assistant at The Ohio State University, Vinny quickly accepted the position and started his Master’s program in January 2016. He has hopes of applying his research directly to FGD wastewater via pilot and full scale studies at coal combustion power generation facilities. After completion of his research and degree, Vinny intends on working for an environmental engineering consulting firm in Columbus.