Nanofiltration (NF) can enable P recovery from waste streams via retaining multivalent impurities from spent pickling acid. However, with the currently available membranes, an economically feasible process is impossible. Layer-by-layer modified NF membranes are a promising solution for the recovery of P from acidic leachate. LbL membranes show a high level of versatility in terms of fine tuning for ion retention, which is necessary to achieve sufficient phosphorus yields. However, the stability of layer-by-layer modified membranes during phosphoric acid (H3
) filtration needs to be further investigated. In our study, we show that a polyethersulfone hollow fiber membrane modified with four or eight bi-layers was stable during immersing and filtering of a 15% H3
solution. A sulfonated polyethersulfone (sPES)-based hollow fiber LbL membrane was only stable during filtration. Thus, we show the importance of applying real process conditions to evaluate membranes. Another important aspect is the influence of the high ionic strength of the feed solution on the membrane. We show that a high ionic strength led to a decrease in Mg retention, which could be increased to 85% by adjusting the process parameters.
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