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Membrane Distillation Trial on Textile Wastewater Containing Surfactants Using Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic-Coated Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) Membranes

1
Institute for Sustainable Industries & Liveable Cities, Victoria University, P.O. Box 14428, Melbourne, VIC 8001, Australia
2
Australian Textile Mills Pty Ltd., Wangaratta, VIC 3677, Australia
3
Laboratoire de Génie Chimique (LGC), Université de Toulouse, CNRS, INPT, UPS, Toulouse 31432, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membranes 2018, 8(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes8020031
Received: 22 May 2018 / Revised: 9 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 15 June 2018
Treating wastewater from textile plants using membrane distillation (MD) has great potential due to the high-salinity wastes and availability of waste heat. However, textile wastewaters also contain surfactants, which compromise the essential hydrophobic feature of the membrane, causing membrane wetting. To address this wetting issue, a custom-made membrane consisting of a hydrophilic layer coated on hydrophobic polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) was tested on textile wastewater in a pilot MD setup, and compared with a conventional hydrophobic PTFE membrane. The test was carried out with a feed temperature of 60 °C, and a permeate temperature of 45 °C. The overall salt rejection of both membranes was very high, at 99%. However, the hydrophobic membrane showed rising permeate electrical conductivity, which was attributed to wetting of the membrane. Meanwhile, the hydrophilic-coated membrane showed continually declining electrical conductivity demonstrating an intact membrane that resisted wetting from the surfactants. Despite this positive result, the coated membrane did not survive a simple sodium hydroxide clean, which would be typically applied to a membrane process. This brief study showed the viability of membrane distillation membranes on real textile wastewaters containing surfactants using hydrophilic-coated hydrophobic PTFE, but the cleaning process required for membranes needs optimization. View Full-Text
Keywords: membrane distillation; hydrophilic membrane; polytetrafluoroethylene; desalination membrane distillation; hydrophilic membrane; polytetrafluoroethylene; desalination
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MDPI and ACS Style

Villalobos García, J.; Dow, N.; Milne, N.; Zhang, J.; Naidoo, L.; Gray, S.; Duke, M. Membrane Distillation Trial on Textile Wastewater Containing Surfactants Using Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic-Coated Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) Membranes. Membranes 2018, 8, 31.

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