Characterisation techniques for organic foulants adsorbed onto flat-sheet UF membranes used in abattoir effluent

Maartens A. ; Swart P. ; Jacobs E.P. (1996)


Ultrafiltration and microfiltration membranes used in clarification of abattoir effluent were found to be subject to fouling by proteins and lipids. The extent of fouling and its consequences on polysulfone membrane performance and character was determined in a static system. Protein was solubilised from the membranes using sodium dodecyl sulfate and analysed using a conventional quantitative as well as a novel qualitative colorimetric method. Lipid was solubilised using a hexane:isopropanol treatment and quantified gravimetrically. Rapid fouling of the membranes by proteins and lipids in the initial stages of contact with effluent was observed, followed by multilayer adsorption. The water contact angle and pure water flux were significantly affected by both foulants, especially in the initial stages of fouling.

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