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Membranes 2016, 6(3), 39; doi:10.3390/membranes6030039

Combining Coagulation/MIEX with Biological Activated Carbon Treatment to Control Organic Fouling in the Microfiltration of Secondary Effluent

School of Engineering, RMIT University, GPO Box 2476, Melbourne 3001, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Clàudia Fontàs
Received: 30 May 2016 / Revised: 11 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 July 2016 / Published: 30 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes: Fouling, Scaling and Aging)
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Abstract

Coagulation, magnetic ion exchange resin (MIEX) and biological activated carbon (BAC) were examined at lab scale as standalone, and sequential pre-treatments for controlling the organic fouling of a microfiltration membrane by biologically treated secondary effluent (BTSE) using a multi-cycle approach. MIEX gave slightly greater enhancement in flux than coagulation due to greater removal of high molecular weight (MW) humic substances, although it was unable to remove high MW biopolymers. BAC treatment was considerably more effective for improving the flux than coagulation or MIEX. This was due to the biodegradation of biopolymers and/or their adsorption by the biofilm, and adsorption of humic substances by the activated carbon, as indicated by size exclusion chromatography. Coagulation or MIEX followed by BAC treatment further reduced the problematic foulants and significantly improved the flux performance. The unified membrane fouling index showed that the reduction of membrane fouling by standalone BAC treatment was 42%. This improved to 65%, 70%, and 93% for alum, ferric chloride and MIEX pre-treatment, respectively, when followed by BAC treatment. This study showed the potential of sequential MIEX and BAC pre-treatment for controlling organic fouling and thus enhancing the performance of microfiltration in the reclamation of BTSE. View Full-Text
Keywords: biological activated carbon; biopolymers; coagulation; magnetic ion exchange; membrane fouling; secondary effluent biological activated carbon; biopolymers; coagulation; magnetic ion exchange; membrane fouling; secondary effluent
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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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Pramanik, B.K.; Roddick, F.A.; Fan, L. Combining Coagulation/MIEX with Biological Activated Carbon Treatment to Control Organic Fouling in the Microfiltration of Secondary Effluent. Membranes 2016, 6, 39.

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