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Influences of fractal dimension of membrane surface on interfacial interactions related to membrane fouling in a membrane bioreactor
- Cai, Xiang, Yang, Lining, Wang, Zhiwei, Zhang, Meijia, Shen, Liguo, Hong, Huachang, Lin, Hongjun, Yu, Genying
- Journal of colloid and interface science 2017 v.500 pp. 79-87
- adhesion, fouling, fractal dimensions, membrane bioreactors, models, sludge, surface roughness, thermodynamics
- Influences of fractal dimension (Df) of membrane surface on interfacial interactions related to membrane fouling in a membrane bioreactor were investigated based on thermodynamic methods. It was found that membrane surface had significant fractal features, and its fractal dimension could be characterized by the power spectrum method. The modified Weierstrass-Mandelbrot (WM) function was found to be effective to model the fractal membrane surface, and higher Df corresponded to higher number of fine asperities in the modeled surface. Moreover, the modeled surface roughness exponentially decreased with Df. Interaction calculations according to a novel method showed that the interactions for fractal membrane surface were elongated and weakened as compared with smooth membrane surface. It was interestingly found that the absolute value of total interaction monotonically decreased with Df of membrane surface. As Df is a measure of substance stiffness, this result indicates that softer surface is more susceptible to adhesion by sludge foulant. The results offered new insights into membrane fouling mechanisms and alleviation.