Performance of ceramic ultrafiltration membranes and fouling behavior of a dye-polysaccharide binary system

Autores UPV
Revista Water Research


Ultrafiltration membrane processes have become an established technology in the treatment and reuse of secondary effluents. Nevertheless, membrane fouling arises as a major obstacle in the efficient operation of these systems. In the current study, the performance of tubular ultrafiltration ceramic membranes was evaluated according to the roles exerted by membrane pore size, transmembrane pressure and feed concentration on a binary foulant system simulating textile wastewater. For that purpose, carboxymethyl cellulose sodium salt (CMC) and an azo dye were used as colloidal and organic foulants, respectively. Results showed that a larger pore size enabled more solutes to get adsorbed into the pores, producing a sharp permeate flux decline attributed to the rapid pore blockage. Besides, an increase in CMC concentration enhanced severe fouling in the case of the tighter membrane. Concerning separation efficiency, organic matter was almost completely removed with removal efficiency above 98.5%. Regarding the dye, 93% of rejection was achieved. Comparable removal efficiencies were attributed to the dynamic membrane formed by the cake layer, which governed process performance in terms of rejection and selectivity. As a result, none of the evaluated parameters showed significant influence on separation efficiency, supporting the significant role of cake layer on filtration process.