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Membrane-based separation for oily wastewater: A practical perspective

Tanudjaja, Henry J., Hejase, Charifa A., Tarabara, Volodymyr V., Fane, Anthony G., Chew, Jia Wei
Water research 2019 v.156 pp. 347-365
air, beverages, coagulation, fouling, industry, microfiltration, monitoring, oils, solvents, wastewater
The large volumes of oily wastewater generated by various industries, such as oil and gas, food and beverage, and metal processing, need to be de-oiled prior to being discharged into the environment. Compared to conventional technologies such as dissolved air flotation (DAF), coagulation or solvent extraction, membrane filtration can treat oily wastewater of a much broader compositional range and still ensure high oil removals. In the present review, various aspects related to the practical implementation of membranes for the treatment of oily wastewater are summarized. First, sources and composition of oily wastewater, regulations that stipulate the extent of treatment needed before discharge, and the conventional technologies that enable such treatment are appraised. Second, commercially available membranes, membrane modules, operation modes and hybrids are overviewed, and their economics are discussed. Third, challenges associated with membrane filtration are examined, along with means to quantify and mitigate membrane fouling. Finally, perspectives on state-of-the-art techniques to facilitate better monitoring and control of such systems are briefly discussed.