Main content area

Control of natural organic matter fouling of ultrafiltration membrane by adsorption pretreatment: Comparison of mesoporous adsorbent resin and powdered activated carbon

Li, Kai, Liang, Heng, Qu, Fangshu, Shao, Senlin, Yu, Huarong, Han, Zheng-shuang, Du, Xing, Li, Guibai
Journal of membrane science 2014 v.471 pp. 94-102
activated carbon, adsorbents, adsorption, artificial membranes, bovine serum albumin, fouling, humic acids, models, porous media, process design, sodium alginate, ultrafiltration
This paper focused on the effects of mesoporous adsorbent resin (MAR) and powdered activated carbon (PAC) pretreatments on ultrafiltration (UF) membrane fouling caused by natural organic matter (NOM). Three model foulants, humic acid (HA), bovine serum albumin (BSA) and sodium alginate (SA), were adopted to represent different NOM fractions in natural waters. Moreover, the impact of the presence of adsorbent particles in UF feed water on membrane fouling was also evaluated. The results indicated that MAR adsorption exhibited remarkable performance in alleviating HA and BSA fouling, no matter whether MAR particles were removed before UF or not. In contrast, PAC pretreatment slightly ameliorated HA fouling when PAC particles were removed before UF, whereas HA fouling was exacerbated by PAC pretreatment with PAC particles present in UF feed water. BSA fouling was moderately controlled by PAC adsorption irrespective of the presence or absence of PAC particles in UF feed water. However, neither of these two pretreatments visibly influenced SA fouling. Overall, the results obtained in the current research would provide relevant information on adsorbent selection and process design of the hybrid adsorption/UF process according to the composition and properties of NOM.