Fouling and Cleaning Characteristics of Ultrafiltration of Hydrophobic Dissolved Organic Matter by a Polyvinyl Chloride Hollow Fiber Membrane

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Ultrafiltration membrane fouling is a significant problem in drinking water treatment. Many researchers believe that hydrophobic natural organic matter is the main foulant. In this research, fulvic acid, tannin, and aniline were used to represent hydrophobic acid, neutral, and base, respectively, to investigate modified polyvinyl chloride ultrafiltration membrane fouling characteristics. Four kinds of cleaning methods were used in this study: flushing, backwashing, flushing and backwashing, and chemical cleaning with 0.5% sodium hydroxide. Each was performed on the three hydrophobic dissolved organic matters (acid, neutral, and base) to identify the fouling mechanisms of polyvinyl chloride ultrafiltration membrane. Results showed that hydrophobic base fouled membranes the most and hydrophobic acid the least based on cleaning difficulty.

Keywords: Ultrafiltration; cleaning; dissolved organic matter; hydrophobic; membrane fouling

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2009

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  • 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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