Next Article in Journal
Tanning Wastewater Treatment by Ultrafiltration: Process Efficiency and Fouling Behavior
Previous Article in Journal
Antiviral Nanomaterials for Designing Mixed Matrix Membranes
Article

Potential Pitfalls in Membrane Fouling Evaluation: Merits of Data Representation as Resistance Instead of Flux Decline in Membrane Filtration

1
Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC), Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division (BESE), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200F, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
3
Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Tshwane University of Technology, Private Bag X680, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
4
Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
5
Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Delft University of Technology, Van der Maasweg 9, 2629 HZ Delft, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Onita Basu and Hongde Zhou
Membranes 2021, 11(7), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070460
Received: 24 May 2021 / Revised: 14 June 2021 / Accepted: 17 June 2021 / Published: 22 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Membrane Fouling and Cleaning)
The manner in which membrane-fouling experiments are conducted and how fouling performance data are represented have a strong impact on both how the data are interpreted and on the conclusions that may be drawn. We provide a couple of examples to prove that it is possible to obtain misleading conclusions from commonly used representations of fouling data. Although the illustrative example revolves around dead-end ultrafiltration, the underlying principles are applicable to a wider range of membrane processes. When choosing the experimental conditions and how to represent fouling data, there are three main factors that should be considered: (I) the foulant mass is principally related to the filtered volume; (II) the filtration flux can exacerbate fouling effects (e.g., concentration polarization and cake compression); and (III) the practice of normalization, as in dividing by an initial value, disregards the difference in driving force and divides the fouling effect by different numbers. Thus, a bias may occur that favors the experimental condition with the lower filtration flux and the less-permeable membrane. It is recommended to: (I) avoid relative fouling performance indicators, such as relative flux decline (J/J0); (II) use resistance vs. specific volume; and (III) use flux-controlled experiments for fouling performance evaluation. View Full-Text
Keywords: membrane-fouling performance indicators; normalized flux decline; membrane resistance membrane-fouling performance indicators; normalized flux decline; membrane resistance
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Blankert, B.; Van der Bruggen, B.; Childress, A.E.; Ghaffour, N.; Vrouwenvelder, J.S. Potential Pitfalls in Membrane Fouling Evaluation: Merits of Data Representation as Resistance Instead of Flux Decline in Membrane Filtration. Membranes 2021, 11, 460. https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070460

AMA Style

Blankert B, Van der Bruggen B, Childress AE, Ghaffour N, Vrouwenvelder JS. Potential Pitfalls in Membrane Fouling Evaluation: Merits of Data Representation as Resistance Instead of Flux Decline in Membrane Filtration. Membranes. 2021; 11(7):460. https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070460

Chicago/Turabian Style

Blankert, Bastiaan, Bart Van der Bruggen, Amy E. Childress, Noreddine Ghaffour, and Johannes S. Vrouwenvelder 2021. "Potential Pitfalls in Membrane Fouling Evaluation: Merits of Data Representation as Resistance Instead of Flux Decline in Membrane Filtration" Membranes 11, no. 7: 460. https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11070460

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop