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Water 2016, 8(12), 602; doi:10.3390/w8120602

The Effect of Membrane Material and Surface Pore Size on the Fouling Properties of Submerged Membranes

1
Center for Membrane and Film Technology, Department of Chemical Science and Engineering, Kobe University, 1-1 Rokkodai, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-8501, Japan
2
Research Centre for Membrnae Separation Processes, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST), Narmak 16846-13114, Tehran, Iran
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Stephen Gray and Yung-Tse Hung
Received: 24 October 2016 / Revised: 1 December 2016 / Accepted: 12 December 2016 / Published: 20 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Membranes for Water Treatment)
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Abstract

We aimed to investigate the relationship between membrane material and the development of membrane fouling in a membrane bioreactor (MBR) using membranes with different pore sizes and hydrophilicities. Batch filtration tests were performed using submerged single hollow fiber membrane ultrafiltration (UF) modules with different polymeric membrane materials including cellulose acetate (CA), polyethersulfone (PES), and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) with activated sludge taken from a municipal wastewater treatment plant. The three UF hollow fiber membranes were prepared by a non-solvent-induced phase separation method and had similar water permeabilities and pore sizes. The results revealed that transmembrane pressure (TMP) increased more sharply for the hydrophobic PVDF membrane than for the hydrophilic CA membrane in batch filtration tests, even when membranes with similar permeabilities and pore sizes were used. PVDF hollow fiber membranes with smaller pores had greater fouling propensity than those with larger pores. In contrast, CA hollow fiber membranes showed good mitigation of membrane fouling regardless of pore size. The results obtained in this study suggest that the surface hydrophilicity and pore size of UF membranes clearly affect the fouling properties in MBR operation when using activated sludge. View Full-Text
Keywords: membrane bioreactor (MBR); membrane fouling; hollow fiber membrane; hydrophilicity; hydrophobicity; wastewater treatment membrane bioreactor (MBR); membrane fouling; hollow fiber membrane; hydrophilicity; hydrophobicity; wastewater treatment
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jeon, S.; Rajabzadeh, S.; Okamura, R.; Ishigami, T.; Hasegawa, S.; Kato, N.; Matsuyama, H. The Effect of Membrane Material and Surface Pore Size on the Fouling Properties of Submerged Membranes. Water 2016, 8, 602.

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