Study and optimization of the ultrasound-enhanced cleaning of an ultrafiltration ceramic membrane through a combined experimental¿statistical approach

Autores UPV
Revista Ultrasonics Sonochemistry


Membrane fouling is one of the main drawbacks of ultrafiltration technology during the treatment of dye-containing effluents. Therefore, the optimization of the membrane cleaning procedure is essential to improve the overall efficiency. In this work, a study of the factors affecting the ultrasound-assisted cleaning of an ultrafiltration ceramic membrane fouled by dye particles was carried out. The effect of transmembrane pressure (0.5, 1.5, 2.5 bar), cross-flow velocity (1, 2, 3 m s−1), ultrasound power level (40%, 70%, 100%) and ultrasound frequency mode (37, 80 kHz and mixed wave) on the cleaning efficiency was evaluated. The lowest frequency showed better results, although the best cleaning performance was obtained using the mixed wave mode. A Box¿Behnken Design was used to find the optimal conditions for the cleaning procedure through a response surface study. The optimal operating conditions leading to the maximum cleaning efficiency predicted (32.19%) were found to be 1.1 bar, 3 m s−1 and 100% of power level. Finally, the optimized response was compared to the efficiency of a chemical cleaning with NaOH solution, with and without the use of ultrasound. By using NaOH, cleaning efficiency nearly triples, and it improves up to 25% by adding ultrasound.