Ethylparaben (EP) is a member of parabens family which are the esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid possessing anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. But studies have pointed towards their endocrine disrupting prospective. Their large consumption as preservatives have made it possible for them to enter in the aquatic streams. In spite of their considerable removal in wastewater treatment plants, parabens are still detected in extremely small amounts in aqueous streams which could be harmful to the aquatic life. EP exists in the range of 0.3–1600 ng/L in aquatic streams like river water, influent and effluent of wastewater treatment plant. So comprehensive investigation were carried out using pseudo-emulsion hollow fiber strip dispersion (PEHFSD) technique with pseudo-emulsion consisting of trioctylamine (carrier), n-heptane (solvent) and sodium carbonate (stripping phase) for the removal of EP from aqueous solution. In this study, emphasis has been given to the use of full factorial design for the optimization of several operational variables like concentration of feed, carrier and stripping phase for EP removal. Statistical analysis of variance was examined to find out the importance of every factor. Interaction plot was used to study the interdependence between the factors and their combined influence on the %extraction of EP. Contour plots provided the optimum concentration range for the maximum EP extraction and 100% removal was achieved by PEHFSD technique at optimum conditions. The mass transfer coefficients were evaluated at optimal conditions.
Keywords: Ethylparaben removal; Pseudo-emulsion hollow fiber strip dispersion technique; Full factorial design; Analysis of variance