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Comparison of CNT-PVA membrane and commercial polymeric membranes in treatment of emulsified oily wastewater

Yi, Gang, Fan, Xinfei, Quan, Xie, Chen, Shuo, Yu, Hongtao
Frontiers of environmental science & engineering 2019 v.13 no.2 pp. 23
artificial membranes, carbon, cutting, emulsions, filtration, fouling, markets, oils, permeability, thermoplastics, wastewater
Membrane separation is an attractive technique for removal of emulsified oily wastewater. However, polymeric membranes which dominate the current market usually suffer from severe membrane fouling. Therefore, membranes with high fouling resistance are imperative to treat emulsified oily wastewater. In this study, carbon nanotube-polyvinyl alcohol (CNT-PVA) membrane was fabricated. And its separation performance for emulsified oily wastewater was compared with two commercial polymeric membranes (PVDF membrane and PES membrane) by filtration of two homemade emulsions and one cutting fluid emulsion. The results show that these membranes have similar oil retention efficiencies for the three emulsions. Whereas, the permeation flux of CNT-PVA membrane is 1.60 to 3.09 times of PVDF membrane and 1.41 to 11.4 times of PES membrane, respectively. Moreover, after five consecutive operation circles of filtration process and back flush, CNT-PVA membrane can recover 62.3% to 72.9% of its initial pure water flux. However, the pure water flux recovery rates are only 24.1% to 35.3% for PVDF membrane and 6.0% to 26.3% for PES membrane, respectively. Therefore, CNT-PVA membrane are more resistant to oil fouling compared with the two polymeric membranes, showing superior potential in treatment of emulsified oily wastewater.