An autopsy study of hollow fiber and multibore ultrafiltration membranes from a pilot-scale ultra high-recovery filtration system for surface water treatment

Yong Gu Lee, Jaegwan Shin, Seung Joon Kim, Kyung Hwa Cho, Paul Westerhoff, Hojung Rho, Kangmin Chon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The organic fouling characteristics of hollow fiber ultrafiltration (HFUF) and multibore ultrafiltration (MBUF) membranes from long-term ultrafiltration (UF) membrane systems were systemically investigated in this study. The objective was to obtain insights into the fouling behavior of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in a pilot-scale ultra-high-recovery membrane filtration system (p-UHMS) used for surface water treatment. The pilot system consisted of a series of two different UF membranes (1st stage: polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) HFUF and 2nd stage: polyethersulfone (PES) MBUF). It was designed to feed the HFUF concentrate to the MBUF membranes to achieve ≥99.5 % total water recovery for surface water treatment, as these advances might enhance the production efficiencies of drinking water. The experimental results confirmed that hydrophobic DOM controlled the formation of HFUF membrane organic fouling, whereas hydrophilic DOM, including polysaccharide-like and protein-like matter, promoted MBUF membrane fouling. These opposing trends were attributed to the hydrophilic characteristics of the MBUF membrane surfaces (contact angle: PVDF = 90–130° and PES ≤ 80°), which reduced the hydrophobic interactions between the UF membrane surfaces and foulants. The performance declines of the MBUF membrane due to fouling layer formation was considerably severer than those of the HFUF membrane, decreasing total permeate water in the p-UHMS. Moreover, the quantity of the desorbed MBUF membrane foulants via 0.1 N NaOH was roughly 7.2 times larger than that of the desorbed HFUF membrane foulants through 0.1 N NaOH, indicating that alkaline-based cleaning agent could much more efficiently recover the performance of the fouled MBUF membranes. Hence, adequate cleaning strategies using alkaline-based agent for the MBUF membrane appeared to be essential for preventing the performance deterioration of the p-UHMS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number161311
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume866
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 25 2023

Keywords

  • Dissolved organic matter
  • Hollow fiber ultrafiltration membranes
  • Membrane autopsy
  • Multibore ultrafiltration membranes
  • Pilot-scale ultra high-recovery membrane filtration system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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