Hydrophilic Fe2O3 dynamic membrane mitigating fouling of support ceramic membrane in ultrafiltration of oil/water emulsion

Dongwei Lu, Wei Cheng, Tao Zhang, Xinglin Lu, Qianliang Liu, Jin Jiang, Jun Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Oil/water (O/W) emulsion is daily produced and difficult to be treated effectively. Ceramic membrane ultrafiltration is one of reliable processes for the treatment of O/W emulsion, yet still hindered by membrane fouling. In this study, two types of Fe2O3 dynamic membranes (i.e., pre-coated dynamic membrane and self-forming dynamic membrane) were prepared to mitigate the fouling of support ceramic membrane in O/W emulsion treatment. Pre-coated dynamic membrane (DM) significantly reduced the fouling of ceramic membrane (i.e., 10% increase of flux recovery rate), while self-forming dynamic membrane aggravated ceramic membrane fouling (i.e., 8.6% decrease of flux recovery rate) after four filtration cycles. A possible fouling mechanism was proposed to explain this phenomenon, which was then confirmed by optical images of fouled membranes and the analysis of COD rejection. In addition, the cleaning efficiency of composite membranes (i.e., Fe2O3 dynamic membrane and support ceramic membrane) was enhanced by substitution of alkalescent water backwash for deionized water backwash. The possible reason for this enhancement was also explained. Our result suggests that pre-coated Fe2O3 dynamic membrane with alkalescent water backwash can be a promising technology to reduce the fouling of ceramic membrane and enhance membrane cleaning efficiency in the treatment of oily wastewater.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
StatePublished - Mar 17 2016

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by National Key Technology Support Program of China (2012BAC05B02). The authors want to thank Daqing Oilfield Company of China for providing the crude oil for the experiment.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Filtration and Separation
  • Analytical Chemistry


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