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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Membrane fouling and selectivity mechanisms in effluent ultrafiltration coupled with flocculation.

Membrane filtration is adequate for producing disinfected clear water suitable for various kinds of applications. However, fouling of membranes is the main limitation. The scope of the present study is to examine the effect of iron coagulation of primary wastewater effluent on membrane filtration, in parallel to fouling characterization of the iron itself. The fouling of ultrafiltration membranes by colloidal iron hydroxide-oxide has been studied by measuring the pore streaming potential of PES UF membrane. pH 5.5 (charge neutralization zone) provided better removal and lower fouling intensity than pH 7.8 (sweep coagulation zone), but the internal clogging at acidic pH was higher. Fouling of the membrane as measured by flux reduction was usually accompanied by a positive change in zeta potential and iso-electric point (IEP) of the membrane. An initially large change in zeta potential (without charge reversal) was seen even after relatively small amounts of iron solution were filtered through the membrane. A control experiment showed this is not due to iron adsorption equilibrium, but should probably be attributed to fouling. Change in zeta potential, can be used as an indicator for commencement of fouling even for small flux reductions. UF membrane critical flux after iron filtration can be evaluated more accurately by zeta potential than pressure drop or change in iron concentration.[1]


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