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Quantitative Analysis of Membrane Fouling Mechanisms Involved in Microfiltration of Humic Acid–Protein Mixtures at Different Solution Conditions

1
Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Water Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China
2
School of Environmental and Municipal Engineering, North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power, Zhengzhou 450046, China
3
Department of mathematics and Physical Sciences, Louisiana State University of Alexandria, 8100 Hwy 71 S, Alexandria, LA 71302-9119, USA
4
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Texas Tech University, 10th and Akron, Lubbock, TX 79409-1023, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(10), 1306; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101306
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 19 September 2018 / Published: 22 September 2018
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Abstract

A systematical quantitative understanding of different mechanisms, though of fundamental importance for better fouling control, is still unavailable for the microfiltration (MF) of humic acid (HA) and protein mixtures. Based on extended Derjaguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek (xDLVO) theory, the major fouling mechanisms, i.e., Lifshitz–van der Waals (LW), electrostatic (EL), and acid–base (AB) interactions, were for the first time quantitatively analyzed for model HA–bovine serum albumin (BSA) mixtures at different solution conditions. Results indicated that the pH, ionic strength, and calcium ion concentration of the solution significantly affected the physicochemical properties and the interaction energy between the polyethersulfone (PES) membrane and HA–BSA mixtures. The free energy of cohesion of the HA–BSA mixtures was minimum at pH = 3.0, ionic strength = 100 mM, and c(Ca2+) = 1.0 mM. The AB interaction energy was a key contributor to the total interaction energy when the separation distance between the membrane surface and HA–BSA mixtures was less than 3 nm, while the influence of EL interaction energy was of less importance to the total interaction energy. The attractive interaction energies of membrane–foulant and foulant–foulant increased at low pH, high ionic strength, and calcium ion concentration, thus aggravating membrane fouling, which was supported by the fouling experimental results. The obtained findings would provide valuable insights for the quantitative understanding of membrane fouling mechanisms of mixed organics during MF. View Full-Text
Keywords: microfiltration; xDLVO theory; HA–BSA mixtures; interaction energy; membrane fouling; solution conditions microfiltration; xDLVO theory; HA–BSA mixtures; interaction energy; membrane fouling; solution conditions
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Sun, C.; Zhang, N.; Li, F.; Ke, G.; Song, L.; Liu, X.; Liang, S. Quantitative Analysis of Membrane Fouling Mechanisms Involved in Microfiltration of Humic Acid–Protein Mixtures at Different Solution Conditions. Water 2018, 10, 1306.

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