Clay filter-aid in ultrafiltration (UF) of humic acid solution

M. Pontié, A. Thekkedath, K. Kecili, H. Dach, F. De Nardi, J.B. Castaing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Fouling studies with three different molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) (100. kDa, 30. kDa and 10. kDa) membranes in regenerated cellulose were carried out in the presence of Acros humic acids (HA) at pH 3.0, 6.7 and 9.5. It was shown that the tighter membranes were less fouled compared with the higher MWCO membranes. 100. kDa membrane showed the highest degree of fouling. The role of pH showed that the highest degree of fouling happened at a neutral pH (pH 6.7) and the lowest degree of fouling happened at a basic pH (pH 9.5).Effectiveness of a novel pre-treatment method was applied to the 100kDa membrane. We added in the HA solution clay particles, homemade synthetized from natural bentonite and denoted Mont-CTAB. We observed a gain in productivity of 25%. 2D-fractal dimension parameter decreased under 1.5, showing a de-organization of the cake due to clay particles in/on the cake and a specific resistance of 4.4×10 11m/kg was obtained in presence of clays versus 3.6×10 14m/kg with HA alone. Finally the development of clay assisted ultrafiltration process changes the cake morphology limiting fouling impact and it is hope that for long term experiments, formation of a gel-layer should be limited. © 2012 Elsevier B.V..
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-86
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Lots of thanks to Romain MALLET (SCIAM, Angers University, France) for the SEM analysis. Thank you also to MM W. Naceur and N. Houari for Mont-CTAB synthesis in Blida University (Algeria), T. Breton for the XRD analysis in Angers university (France) and the Middle East Desalination Research Center (MEDRC) for funds attributed to the project no. 06As003 entitled “Novel seawater pre-treatment processes by sorption onto chemically modified bentonite coupled with UF operation in RO plants”. A special thank to Nourredine Ghaffour (KAUST, Saudi Arabia).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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