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Quantification of interfacial interactions between a rough sludge floc and membrane surface in a membrane bioreactor

Cai, Xiang, Zhang, Meijia, Yang, Lining, Lin, Hongjun, Wu, Xilin, He, Yiming, Shen, Liguo
Journal of colloid and interface science 2017 v.490 pp. 710-718
adhesion, fouling, geometry, membrane bioreactors, sludge
Interfacial interactions between foulants and membrane directly determine foulant adhesion and membrane fouling. In this study, surface of sludge foulant particles (flocs) was found to be rough, and could be modeled by a sinusoidal sphere function. A novel method, which combined surface element integration (SEI) method, differential geometry and composite Simpson’s rule, was developed to quantify the interfacial interactions between the modeled rough floc surface and membrane surface. Application of the novel method in a membrane bioreactor (MBR) provides broad profiles of quantitative interactions with rough floc surface with separation distance. It is also found that increase in the scaled amplitude of floc surface significantly reduced the interaction strength. Derjaguin’s approximation (DA) can be regarded as a special case of the novel method, indicating the extensive application prospect of the novel method. The novel method for interaction calculation was verified to be correct and feasible. Finally, roles of the novel method in membrane fouling research were discussed.