Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemical Engineering


Amines in aqueous, process feed or effluent streams can cause contamination problems. Ligand exchange demonstrates the potential to remove amines from these process streams. In ligand exchange, a complexing solute is removed from solution as it covalently bonds to a metal ion held on cation exchange resin. Previous work has shown copper(II)-carboxylic acid resin to be a suitable metal-resin exchange sorbent. The results of a research program are presented showing the applicability of ligand exchange to an amine removal operation. This study includes experimental determination of equilibrium relationships and diffusion coefficients. These parameters have been used to mathematically model ligand sorption in fixed-bed columns. Considerable attention has been given to mathematical prediction of ligand exchange. Analytical and numerical solutions were used to describe batch sorption and exchange column performance. Numerical solutions were required to fundamentally account for the nonlinear sorbent-liquid equilibrium. An experimental program was conducted for two amines, butylamine and diglycolamine. The corresponding ligand-sorption processes were found to be mass-transfer controlled with pore diffusion as the dominating mechanism. Predictions of ligand-sorption column profiles encourage extensions to multicomponent ligand exchange and allow design for full-scale applications.