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Perspective

The Limitations in Current Studies of Organic Fouling and Future Prospects

1
School of Space and Environment, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
2
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eoin Casey
Membranes 2021, 11(12), 922; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11120922
Received: 27 October 2021 / Revised: 22 November 2021 / Accepted: 24 November 2021 / Published: 25 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Technologies for Municipal Wastewater Reclamation)
Microfiltration and ultrafiltration for water/wastewater treatment have gained global attention due to their high separation efficiency, while membrane fouling still remains one of their bottlenecks. In such a situation, many researchers attempt to obtain a deep understanding of fouling mechanisms and to develop effective fouling controls. Therefore, this article intends to trigger discussions on the appropriate choice of foulant surrogates and the application of mathematic models to analyze fouling mechanisms in these filtration processes. It has been found that the commonly used foulant surrogate (sodium alginate) cannot ideally represent the organic foulants in practical feed water to explore the fouling mechanisms. More surrogate foulants or extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) extracted from practical source water may be more suitable for use in the studies of membrane fouling problems. On the other hand, the support vector machine (SVM) which focuses on the general trends of filtration data may work as a more powerful simulation tool than traditional empirical models to predict complex filtration behaviors. Careful selection of foulant surrogate substances and the application of accurate mathematical modeling for fouling mechanisms would provide deep insights into the fouling problems. View Full-Text
Keywords: membrane fouling; polysaccharide foulant; surrogate of foulants; fouling mechanism models membrane fouling; polysaccharide foulant; surrogate of foulants; fouling mechanism models
MDPI and ACS Style

Meng, X.; Meng, S.; Liu, Y. The Limitations in Current Studies of Organic Fouling and Future Prospects. Membranes 2021, 11, 922. https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11120922

AMA Style

Meng X, Meng S, Liu Y. The Limitations in Current Studies of Organic Fouling and Future Prospects. Membranes. 2021; 11(12):922. https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11120922

Chicago/Turabian Style

Meng, Xianghao, Shujuan Meng, and Yu Liu. 2021. "The Limitations in Current Studies of Organic Fouling and Future Prospects" Membranes 11, no. 12: 922. https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11120922

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