Composition and reversibility of fouling on low-pressure membranes in the filtration of coagulated water: insights into organic fractions behaviour
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The primary problem for the application of microfiltration (MF) and ultrafiltration (UF) membrane technology is membrane fouling. Such is the case that understanding membrane fouling has become one of the major factors driving MF and UF membrane technology for- ward. Nevertheless, identifying the constituents that most contribute to membrane fouling 20 and quantifying how they are detached when backwashing (BW) and cleaning-in-place (CIP) are applied still remains a challenging task. The aim of the present study was to quan- tify membrane fouling development during filtration and membrane fouling detachment during BW and CIP in terms of membrane permeability changes and masses of inorganic and organic constituents accumulated on the membrane. The study was conducted using 25 bench-scale MF and UF modules fed with coagulated and settled water coming from a drinking water treatment plant and operated under dead-end and cross-flow operation modes. The experiments consisted inconsecutive permeation (20 min) alternated with BW with permeate water (1.0 min) (periodically chemically assisted with NaClO and NaOH) and followed by a two-stage CIP consisting first in an oxidising and basic step (NaClO and 30 NaOH) and second in an acidic step (citric acid). Feed, permeate, retentate (when present) and cleaning discharge streams were monitored for turbidity, total and dissolved organic carbon (TOC and DOC, respectively), UV 254 and inorganic ions (Al, Fe, P). DOC was frac- tionated by high-performance size exclusion chromatography to gain insight into the beha- viour of the different organic fractions. Results showed that both MF and UF membranes 35 successfully removed turbidity, Al and Fe, whereas UV 254 was moderately removed and TOC and DOC poorly removed, with removal percentages higher for UF than for MF. With regard to the organic fractions, the largest molecular weight compounds were moderately removed while the smallest organic fractions seemed to totally permeate through both membranes. The results also showed that foulants were poorly washed out from the
CitationGibert, O., Lefevre, B., Ferrer, O., Prats, G., Bernat, X., Paraira, M. Composition and reversibility of fouling on low-pressure membranes in the filtration of coagulated water: insights into organic fractions behaviour. "Desalination and water treatment", 1 Novembre 2016, vol. 57, núm. 54, p. 26313-26326.