An experimental study of UF membrane fouling by humic acid and sodium alginate solutions: the effect of backwashing on flux recovery, Desalination, vol. 220, pp 214-227.
Έτος : 2008
Author : Katsoufidou K., Yiantsios S.G., Karabelas A.J.
One of the critical issues for the successful application of ultrafitration in water treatment is membrane fouling due to dissolved organic matter, which negatively affects productivity, product quality and process cost. The aim of the present study is to contribute to the understanding of fouling phenomena by organic matter and the efficiency of the backwashing technique, which is applied in practice to restore membrane flux. In this experimental study commercial humic acid and sodium alginate have been used as model substances representative of natural organic matter and extracellular organic matter, respectively. All fouling experiments were carried out in a special single fiber apparatus. An important parameter considered in the study of both model substances is the concentration of calcium ions, which promote their aggregation and influence the rate of flux decline, the reversibility of fouling and rejection. Membrane fouling by humic acid appears to be the outcome of simultaneous action of several fouling mechanisms. Initially, a relatively rapid irreversible fouling takes place due to internal pore adsorption; however, progressively pore blocking becomes important and a fouling layer develops on the membrane. Sodium alginate fouling on the other hand is apparently due to two consecutive mechanisms; i.e. a rapid irreversible fouling due to internal pore constriction, followed by cake development on the membrane surface which becomes the dominant mechanism. Comparing fouling in both cases it can be inferred that even though sodium alginate fouling is more severe than the one caused by humic acids, it is to a large extent reversible by backwashing. On the contrary, fouling caused by humic acid is characterized by greater and increasing with calcium addition irreversibility, which is not remedied by the periodic backwashing. The different fouling propensity of the two types of macromolecules is apparently due to differences of their physical–chemical characteristics.