Aquatic environment

Chemical cleaning of fouled PVC membrane during ultrafiltration ofalgal-rich water

Yan Zhang , Jiayu Tian , Heng Liang , Jun Nan , Zhonglin Chen , Guibai Li


Received May 20, 2010,Revised July 01, 2010, Accepted , Available online

Volume 23,2011,Pages 529-536

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Cleaning of hollow-fibre polyvinyl chloride (PVC) membrane with di erent chemical reagents after ultrafiltration of algal-rich water was investigated. Among the tested cleaning reagents (NaOH, HCl, EDTA, and NaClO), 100 mg/L NaClO exhibited the best performance (88.4% 1.1%) in removing the irreversible fouling resistance. This might be attributed to the fact that NaClO could eliminate almost all the major foulants such as carbohydrate-like and protein-like materials on the membrane surface, as confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis. However, negligible irreversible resistance (1.5% 1.0%) was obtained when the membrane was cleaning by 500 mg/L NaOH for 1.0 hr, although the NaOH solution could also desorb a portion of the major foulants from the fouled PVC membrane. Scanning electronic microscopy and atomic force microscopy analyses demonstrated that 500 mg/L NaOH could change the structure of the residual foulants on the membrane, making them more tightly attached to the membrane surface. This phenomenon might be responsible for the negligible membrane permeability restoration after NaOH cleaning. On the other hand, the microscopic analyses reflected that NaClO could e ectively remove the foulants accumulated on the membrane surface.

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