Aquatic environment

Effect of coagulation pretreatment on the fouling of ultrafiltration membrane

DONG Bing-zhi , CHEN Yan , GAO Nai-yun , FAN Jin-chu


Received March 10, 2006,Revised May 17, 2006, Accepted , Available online

Volume 19,2007,Pages 278-283

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The purpose of this study is to understand the effect and mechanism of preventing membrane fouling, by coagulation pretreatment, in terms of fractional component and molecular weight of natural organic matter (NOM). A relatively higher molecular weight(MW)of hydrophobic compounds was responsible for a rapid decline in the ultrafiltration flux. Coagulation could effectively remove the hydrophobic organics, resulting in the increase of flux. It was found that a lower MW of neutral hydrophilic compounds, which could remove inadequately by coagulation, was responsible for the slow declining flux. The fluxes in the filtration of coagulated water and supernatant water were compared and the results showed that a lower MW of neutral hydrophilic compounds remained in the supernatant water after coagulation could be rejected by a membrane, resulting in fouling. It was also found that the coagulated flocs could absorb neutral hydrophilic compounds effectively. Therefore, with the coagulated flocs formed on the membrane surface, the flux decline could be improved.

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