Fenton cleaning strategy for ceramic membrane fouling in wastewater treatment

Shengyin Tang , Lixun Zhang , Yi Peng , Jing Liu , Zhenghua Zhang


Received April 01, 2019,Revised , Accepted June 14, 2019, Available online June 24, 2019

Volume 31,2019,Pages 189-199

Membrane fouling is an obstacle impeding the wide applications of ceramic membranes and organics are responsible for most of the membrane fouling issues in wastewater treatment. In this study, Fenton cleaning strategy was firstly proposed to clean ceramic membrane fouling in wastewater treatment. Fe2+ efficiently catalyzed fouling cleaning with H2O2 (1.5%) to recover the filterability of ceramic membrane. The maximum ∆ TMP recovery (over 99%) was achieved at an optimal Fe2+ dosage of 124 mg/L after 6 hr of immersion cleaning. The total residual membrane fouling resistance decreased gradually from this optimum value as the Fe2+ dosage increased above 124 mg/L. The residual hydraulically reversible fouling resistance accounted for most of the membrane fouling and was basically removed (≤ 3.0 × 109 m−1) when Fe2+ dosages higher than 124 mg/L were used. The foulants responsible for the formation of a residual hydraulically reversible fouling layer (DOC (dissolved organic carbon), proteins, polysaccharides, EEM (fluorescence excitation-emission matrix spectra), SS (suspended solids), and VSS (volatile suspended solids)) were gradually removed as the Fe2+ dosage increased. These residual organic foulants were degraded from biopolymers (10–200 kDa) to low molecular weight substances (0.1–1 kDa), and the particle size of these residual foulants decreased significantly as a result. The strong oxidation power of hydrogen peroxide/hydroxy radicals towards organic foulants was enhanced by Fe2+. Fe2+ played a significant role in the removal of hydraulically reversible fouling and irreversible fouling from the ceramic membrane. However, Fe2+ (≥ 124 mg/L) increased the likelihood of forming secondary iron-organics aggregates.

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