Environmental technology

Seawater ultrafiltration: role of particles on organic rejections and permeate fluxes.

PMID 24527616


The role of natural compounds of seawater and added particles on mechanisms of membrane fouling and organic matter rejection has been investigated. Ultrafiltration (100 kDa) has been conducted in both dead-end (out/in) and tangential (in/out) modes on polysulfone hollow fibre membranes. The permeate fluxes are approximately three times higher for tangential ultrafiltration than for dead-end ultrafiltration without differences between settled and non-settled seawaters (NS-SWs) (51-55 L h(-1) m(-2) for tangential and 17-22 L h(-1) m(-2) for dead-end ultrafiltration). Adding bentonite or kieselguhr from 0.13 to 1.13 g L(-1) of suspended solids to NS-SW does not act significantly on permeate fluxes of dead-end contrary to tangential ultrafiltration. For the latter, an addition of particles induces a slight drop of permeate fluxes. Original particles of reconstituted seawater could increase the cake porosity, whereas bentonite and kieselguhr, compounds smaller than original particles, could participate in the formation of a compact cake. The total organic carbon removal was equal to approximately 80% whatever the mode of ultrafiltration may be and the suspended solid concentration ranged from 0.13 to 1.13 g L(-1). Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and colloidal organic carbon rejection rates were greater for tangential ultrafiltration (37-49%) compared with dead-end ultrafiltration (30-44%) at different concentrations of added particles. Bentonite or kieselguhr addition induced a slight decrease of DOC removal. In the case of particles addition, the worst DOC rejection is found for bentonite.