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Open AccessArticle

Mitigation of Membrane Fouling Using an Electroactive Polyether Sulfone Membrane

by Chunyan Ma 1,2, Chao Yi 1, Fang Li 1,2, Chensi Shen 1,2, Zhiwei Wang 2,3, Wolfgang Sand 1,4 and Yanbiao Liu 1,2,*
1
Textile Pollution Controlling Engineering Center of Ministry of Environmental Protection, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China
2
Shanghai Institute of Pollution Control and Ecological Security, Shanghai 200092, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
4
Institute of Biosciences, Freiberg University of Mining and Technology, 09599 Freiberg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membranes 2020, 10(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10020021
Received: 4 December 2019 / Revised: 17 January 2020 / Accepted: 21 January 2020 / Published: 30 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Engineering and Applications)
Membrane fouling is the bottleneck limiting the wide application of membrane processes. Herein, we adopted an electroactive polyether sulfone (PES) membrane capable of mitigating fouling by various negatively charged foulants. To evaluate anti-fouling performance and the underlying mechanism of this electroactive PES membrane, three types of model foulants were selected rationally (e.g., bovine serum albumin (BSA) and sodium alginate (SA) as non-migratory foulants, yeast as a proliferative foulant and emulsified oil as a spreadable foulant). Water flux and total organic carbon (TOC) removal efficiency in the filtering process of various foulants were tested under an electric field. Results suggest that under electrochemical assistance, the electroactive PES membrane has an enhanced anti-fouling efficacy. Furthermore, a low electrical field was also effective in mitigating the membrane fouling caused by a mixture of various foulants (containing BSA, SA, yeast and emulsified oil). This result can be attributed to the presence of electrostatic repulsion, which keeps foulants away from the membrane surface. Thereby it hinders the formation of a cake layer and mitigates membrane pore blocking. This work implies that an electrochemical control might provide a promising way to mitigate membrane fouling. View Full-Text
Keywords: membrane separation; fouling mitigation; low electrical field; electrostatic repulsion membrane separation; fouling mitigation; low electrical field; electrostatic repulsion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ma, C.; Yi, C.; Li, F.; Shen, C.; Wang, Z.; Sand, W.; Liu, Y. Mitigation of Membrane Fouling Using an Electroactive Polyether Sulfone Membrane. Membranes 2020, 10, 21.

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