Fouling of reverse osmosis and nanofiltration membranes by humic acid - Effects of solution composition and hydrodynamic conditions
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- Fouling of reverse osmosis and nanofiltration membranes by humic acid - Effects of solution composition and hydrodynamic conditions
- Tang, Chuyang Y.; Kwon, Young-Nam; Leckie, James O.
- Critical flux; Fouling; Humic acid; Nanofiltration (NF); Reverse osmosis (RO)
- Issue Date
- ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
- JOURNAL OF MEMBRANE SCIENCE, v.290, no.1-2, pp.86 - 94
- Fouling of reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) membranes by humic acid, a recalcitrant natural organic matter (NOM), was systematically investigated. The membrane flux performance depended on both hydrodynamic conditions (flux and cross-flow velocity) and solution composition (humic acid concentration, pH, ionic strength, and calcium concentration), and was largely independent of virgin membrane properties. While increasing humic acid concentration and ionic strength, and lowering cross-flow velocity affected flux performance moderately, severe flux reduction occurred at high initial flux, low pH, and high calcium concentration. At a calcium concentration of 1 mM, all the membranes exhibited an identical stable flux, independent of their respective intrinsic membrane permeabilities. The effect of solution composition was more significant at higher fluxes. Improved salt rejection was observed as a result of humic acid fouling, which was likely due to Dorman exclusion by humic material close to membrane surfaces. Greater rejection improvement was observed for membranes with rougher surfaces.
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