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Open AccessArticle

Innovative Optical-Sensing Technology for the Online Fouling Characterization of Silicon Carbide Membranes during the Treatment of Oily Water

1
Institute of Bioprocess Engineering and Pharmaceutical Technology, University of Applied Sciences Mittelhessen, 35390 Giessen, Germany
2
Department R&D, DECKMA Hamburg GmbH, 22525 Hamburg, Germany
3
Faculty of Biology and Chemistry, Justus-Liebig University of Giessen, 35390 Giessen, Germany
4
Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME), Project Group Bioresources, 35392 Giessen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(4), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20041161
Received: 27 January 2020 / Revised: 17 February 2020 / Accepted: 17 February 2020 / Published: 20 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Optical Sensors)
The oil and gas industry generates a large volume of contaminated water (produced water) which must be processed to recover oil before discharge. Here, we evaluated the performance and fouling behavior of commercial ceramic silicon carbide membranes in the treatment of oily wastewaters. In this context, microfiltration and ultrafiltration ceramic membranes were used for the separation of oil during the treatment of tank dewatering produced water and oily model solutions, respectively. We also tested a new online oil-in-water sensor (OMD-32) based on the principle of light scattering for the continuous measurement of oil concentrations in order to optimize the main filtration process parameters that determine membrane performance: the transmembrane pressure and cross-flow velocity. Using the OMD-32 sensor, the oil content of the feed, concentrate and permeate streams was measured continuously and fell within the range 0.0–200 parts per million (ppm) with a resolution of 1.0 ppm. The ceramic membranes achieved an oil-recovery efficiency of up to 98% with less than 1.0 ppm residual oil in the permeate stream, meeting environmental regulations for discharge in most areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: ceramic membrane; silicon carbide membrane; produced water treatment; oily wastewater; oil-in-water sensor; light scattering ceramic membrane; silicon carbide membrane; produced water treatment; oily wastewater; oil-in-water sensor; light scattering
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Ebrahimi, M.; Schmidt, A.A.; Kaplan, C.; Schmitz, O.; Czermak, P. Innovative Optical-Sensing Technology for the Online Fouling Characterization of Silicon Carbide Membranes during the Treatment of Oily Water. Sensors 2020, 20, 1161.

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