Ultrafiltration fouling trend simulation of a municipal wastewater treatment plant effluent with model wastewater

Autores UPV
Revista Desalination and Water Treatment (Online)


Secondary treatment effluents from Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants require tertiary treatments to be reused in agriculture. Among tertiary treatment technologies, ultrafiltration has been proven to be a reliable reclamation process. Nevertheless this technique has an important disadvantage: membrane fouling. This phenomenon causes decline in permeate flux with time and increases the operational costs. Due to the fact that secondary effluents from Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants contain a large amount of different compounds and that there is certain variability in their composition, the use of a simplified model wastewater consisting of only few compounds may help to simulate better the ultrafiltration fouling trend. The main secondary treatment effluent components responsible for fouling membrane during ultrafiltration tests are extracellular polymeric substances. These substances are mainly composed of proteins and polysaccharides, thus they are commonly used to prepare model wastewaters. This work consisted in two parts. Firstly, a model wastewater was selected among different model solutions mimicking secondary treatment effluent. Secondly, ultrafiltration behaviour of the selected model solution was compared with the behaviour of the secondary effluent in the ultrafiltration tests at different cross-flow velocities and transmembrane pressures. The membrane used in the ultrafiltration tests was UFCM5 Norit X-flow¿ hollow-fiber. To prepare model wastewaters, three parameters (proteins and carbohydrates concentrations and chemical oxygen demand) were considered. The model wastewater that represented the best the fouling trend of the secondary treatment effluent had a composition of 15 mg/l of bovine serum albumin and 5.5 mg/l of dextran