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Irreversible Fouling During Multicycle Microfiltration of Wastewater Effluent

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This study focused on irreversible fouling during microfiltration of primary and secondary effluents from municipal wastewater treatment plants. Flow resistances were calculated from the sum of clean membrane resistances, resultant cake layer resistances, and consequent irreversible fouling resistances. Results from a dead-end cell experimental system showed that the accumulated cake resistance was dominating for microfiltration of primary/secondary effluents. Suspended solids in the primary and secondary effluents had a similar compressibility index, n, with a value of approximately 0.5, indicating that they were moderately compressible particles. The value of irreversible resistance is dependent on the intensity of membrane cleaning; however, for a given membrane cleaning strategy, this value steadily increased and reached a maximum after approximately 6 cycles of filtration and cleaning. This study provided an explanation for the significant drop of throughput flux in the early application of membrane processes, and a plateau flux approached correspondingly.

Keywords: irreversible fouling; membrane filtration; membrane fouling; multicycle microfiltration; reversible fouling; wastewater effluents

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-12-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research� (WER�) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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