Feed-water pretreatment: methods to reduce membrane fouling by natural organic matter

Maartens A. ; Swart P. ; Jacobs E.P. (1999)

Article

The prevention of fouling of polysulphone ultrafiltration membranes, used for the purification of natural brown water, was investigated by pretreating the feed-water prior to filtration. Natural brown water was pretreated by changing the pH of the feed solution and by coagulation with metal-ions prior to filtration. Specific characterisation techniques, developed by Maartens et al. (1998) [A. Maartens, P. Swart, E.P. Jacobs, Humic membrane foulants in natural brown water: characterization and removal, Desalination 115 (3) (1998) 215-227] and Jucker and Clarke (1994) [C. Jucker, M.M. Clark, Adsorption of aquatic humic substances on hydrophobic ultrafiltration membranes, J. Membrane Sci. 97 (1994) 37-52], were used to determine and compare the effects induced by the adsorption of natural organic matter on the permeability of capillary ultrafiltration membranes. The extent of foulant adsorption and the quality of the resultant permeate solutions were determined by UV-VIS-light spectroscopy. Results indicated that adsorption of natural organic matter can be minimised by adjusting the pH of the feed solution to 7. The findings of this investigation provides information of importance for the operation of future natural brown water ultrafiltration plants. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.The prevention of fouling of polysulphone ultrafiltration membranes, used for the purification of natural brown water, was investigated by pretreating the feed-water prior to filtration. Natural brown water was pretreated by changing the pH of the feed solution and by coagulation with metal-ions prior to filtration. Specific characterization techniques, developed by Maartens et al. (1998) and Jucker and Clarke (1994), were used to determine and compare the effects induced by the adsorption of natural organic matter on the permeability of capillary ultrafiltration membranes. The extent of foulant adsorption and the quality of the resultant permeate solutions were determined by UV-VIS-light spectroscopy. Results indicated that adsorption of natural organic matter can be minimized by adjusting the pH of the feed solution to 7. The findings of this investigation provides information of importance for the operation of future natural brown water ultrafiltration plants.

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