Permeation and diffusion of environmental pollutants through flexible polymers



Permeation and diffusion characteristics of high density polyethylene (HDPE), elasticized polyolefin, and polychloroprene membranes have been determined for various organic pollutants at 22 and 50°C. A standard ASTM permeation cell method was used to measure the permeation rate while an immersion/weight gain method was used to obtain the diffusion coefficient. Thickness-dependent permeation rates were determined for HDPE membranes. An equimolar mixture of various permeants was also used to see the possibility of synergistic effects by combination of permeants. The experimental results are discussed in relation to the suitability of HDPE membranes in severe environments.