Effect of amino acid additives in ammonia solution on SO2 absorption and ammonia escape using bubbling reactor for membrane contactor applications

Kwanghwi Kim, Hyunji Lim, Hyun Sic Park, Jo Hong Kang, Jinwon Park, Hojun Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Controlling the SO2 emissions is crucial because they result in several environmental problems and affect human health. Several techniques have been proposed for controlling SO2 emissions. Limestone or lime-based absorbents are widely used for SO2 removal. However, their low solubility limits their applications. Ammonia solution has attracted attention owing to its higher SO2 removal efficiency. However, owing to its high volatility, it has the propensity to escape, which can cause secondary environmental pollution. Therefore, we investigated the effect of six amino acid additives to improve the SO2 absorption performance and inhibit the ammonia escape in aqueous ammonia solution. The surface tension and theoretical breakthrough pressure of the amino acid-containing ammonia solutions was investigated to evaluate their applicability to a membrane contactor process. L-histidine (His) exhibited the best performance. Therefore, the effect of His concentration, inlet SO2 concentration, and absorption temperature on SO2 absorption performance was explored. The 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and 1H NMR analyses were used to study the SO2 absorption mechanism. This study provides a strategy for preparing an eco-friendly and highly efficient SO2 absorbent that can overcome the disadvantage of current ammonia solutions for the removal of low-concentration SO2 from industrial gas emissions for the membrane contactor process application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-703
Number of pages10
JournalProcess Safety and Environmental Protection
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology (KEIT) grant funded by the Korean government ( MOTIE ) (Project No. 20005884 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Institution of Chemical Engineers

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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