Fouling analysis of polysulfone ultrafiltration membranes used for drinking water treatment

B. Q. Zhao, Ch-Hpin Huang, S. Y. Chen, D. S. Wang*, T. Li, J. H. Qu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Natural organic matter (NOM) plays a significant role in the fouling of ultrafiltration membranes in drinking water treatment processes. For a better understanding of the interaction between fractional components of NOM and polysulfone (PS) ultrafiltration membranes used for drinking water treatment, fouling and especially the physically irreversible fouling of natural organic matter were investigated. Resin fractionation, fluorescence excitation-emission matrix (EEM) spectroscopy, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), contact angle and a scanning electron microscope (SEM) were employed to identify the potential foulants. The results showed that humic acid and fulvic acid of small size were likely to permeate the membrane, while the hydrophobic fraction of humic and fulvic acid and aromatic proteins tended to be rejected and retained. Organic compounds such as proteins, humic substances, and polysaccharide-like materials, were all detected in the fouling layer. The physically irreversible fouling of the PS membrane seemed to be mainly attributed to the hydrophobic fraction of humic substances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-674
Number of pages7
JournalWater Science and Technology: Water Supply
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • Fouling
  • NOM
  • Physically irreversible fouling
  • Ultrafiltration

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