Transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) removal efficiency by a combination of coagulation and ultrafiltration to minimize SWRO membrane fouling

Sheng Li, Shang-Tse Lee, Shahnawaz Sinha, TorOve Leiknes, Gary L. Amy, NorEddine Ghaffour

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This study investigated the impact of coagulation on the transformation between colloidal and particulate transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) in seawater; and the effectiveness of a combined pretreatment consisting of coagulation and UF on minimizing TEP fouling of seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) membranes. Coagulation with ferric chloride at pH 5 substantially transformed colloidal TEP (0.1–0.4) into particulate TEP (>0.4) leading to a better membrane fouling control. Both 50 and 100 kDa molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) UF membranes removed most of particulate and colloidal TEP without the assistance of coagulation, but coagulation is still necessary for better UF fouling control. The improvement of combined SWRO pretreatment with coagulation and 50 kDa UF membranes was not that much significant compared to UF pretreatment with 50 KDa alone. Therefore, the minimal coagulant dosage for seawater containing TEP should be based on the UF fouling control requirements rather than removal efficiency. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-493
Number of pages9
JournalWater Research
StatePublished - Jul 2 2016

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