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Effects of surface charge on interfacial interactions related to membrane fouling in a submerged membrane bioreactor based on thermodynamic analysis

Cai, Huihui, Fan, Hao, Zhao, Leihong, Hong, Huachang, Shen, Liguo, He, Yiming, Lin, Hongjun, Chen, Jianrong
Journal of colloid and interface science 2016 v.465 pp. 33-41
adhesion, energy, fouling, membrane bioreactors, sludge, thermodynamics, zeta potential
Effects of both membrane and sludge foulant surface zeta potentials on interfacial interactions between membrane and sludge foulant in different interaction scenarios were systematically investigated based on thermodynamic methods. Under conditions in this study, it was found that zeta potential had marginal effects on total interfacial interaction between two infinite planar surfaces, and the total interfacial interaction between foulant particles and membrane would be more repulsive with increase of absolute value of zeta potential. Adhesion of foulant particles on membrane surface should overcome an energy barrier. There exists a critical zeta potential below which energy barrier would disappear. Results also showed that rough surface membrane corresponded to significantly low strength of interfacial interactions. This study not only provided a series of methods to quantitatively assess the interfacial interactions between membrane and sludge foulants, but also reconciled the contradictory conclusions regarding effects of zeta potential in literature, giving important implications for membrane fouling mitigation.