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Analysis of effect of particles on cake layer compressibility during ultrafiltration of upflow biological activated carbon effluent

Ao, Lu, Liu, Wenjun, Zhang, Minglu, Wang, Xiaomao
The Science of the total environment 2018 v.619-620 pp. 232-238
Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, activated carbon, biofouling, compressibility, drinking water, kaolinite, microorganisms, ultrafiltration, water treatment
Three different hollow-fibre ultrafiltration (UF) membranes were applied to treat upflow biological activated carbon (UBAC) effluent to determine the characteristics of membrane biofouling by microorganisms and particles. At the beginning of filtration, the cake layer formed on the membrane was loose and highly compressible, and the trans-membrane pressure (TMP) rapidly increased. When compressed to a certain extent, cake layer with low compressibility was formed by the accumulated particles and resulted in slower TMP increment. Thus, the decreased compressibility of the cake layer formed on the UF membrane during filtration of UBAC effluent led to the rapid increase in TMP at the beginning and slow increment in subsequently. The results were confirmed by filtering Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and kaolinite mixed suspensions with flat-sheet UF membrane. Our findings provide a new insight into membrane biofouling control and may facilitate better membrane application in drinking water treatment.