Impact of organic and colloidal fouling on trace organic contaminant rejection by forward osmosis: Role of initial permeate flux

Ming Xie, Long D. Nghiem, William E. Price, Menachem Elimelech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fouling behaviour and its impact on the rejection of trace organic contaminants (TrOCs) by forward osmosis (FO) were investigated. Membrane fouling was simulated using humic acid and colloidal particles as model foulants at different initial permeate water fluxes. Water flux decline was insignificant at an initial permeate flux of 9L/m2h and the fouling layer was loose and fluid-like. By contrast, the water flux decline was substantial at an initial permeate flux of 20L/m2h, resulting in the formation of a compact fouling layer. Water flux recovery after physical cleaning for both humic acid and colloidal particle fouled membranes was consistently higher at an initial permeate flux of 9L/m2h compared to 20L/m2h. The results suggest that the fouling layer structure varied from a fluid-like loose layer at low initial permeate flux to a more cohesive and compact layer at high initial permeate flux. We surmise that the fluid-like loose layer formed at low initial permeate flux contributed to pore blockage and thus enhanced steric hindrance, thereby leading to an increase in TrOC rejection. By contrast, the cohesive and compact fouling layer formed at high initial permeate flux exacerbated cake-enhanced concentration polarisation, resulting in a decrease in TrOC rejection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-152
Number of pages7
JournalDesalination
Volume336
Issue number1
Early online date28 Jan 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2014

Keywords

  • Colloidal particles
  • Forward osmosis
  • Fouling layer structure
  • Humic acid
  • Trace organic contaminants (TrOCs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of organic and colloidal fouling on trace organic contaminant rejection by forward osmosis: Role of initial permeate flux'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this