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  • Ultrafiltration of up-flow biological activated carbon effluent: Extracellular polymer biofouling mechanism and mitigation using pre-ozonation with H2O2 backwashing.

Ultrafiltration of up-flow biological activated carbon effluent: Extracellular polymer biofouling mechanism and mitigation using pre-ozonation with H2O2 backwashing.

Water research (2020-09-19)
Xiaofei Yu, Tao Lin, Hang Xu, Hui Tao, Wei Chen
ABSTRACT

Biofouling is a key problem in membrane filtration, and extracellular polymer substances (EPS) play a key role in biofouling. Biofouling contributes to membrane fouling during ultrafiltration of up-flow biological activated carbon filter (UBACF) effluent. EPS are released when pollutants get attached with membrane surface and when pollutants are in solution phase from cell lysis and by cell secretions. In our study of EPS + humic acid (HA) prepared as the effluent pollutants for ultrafiltration, we found that EPS increased the interfacial forces between the pollutants and the membrane, resulting in membrane fouling. In the early stages of filtration, the main contribution of EPS to membrane fouling was to bond with organic colloids, which led to an increase in the pollutant particle size and zeta potential. This increased the short-range Lewis acid-base (AB) forces from -4.89 nN to -12.59 nN and accelerated the formation of a cake layer. In the late stage of filtration, the EPS increased both the AB and London-van der Waals (LW) forces, thus accelerating membrane fouling. In order to mitigate biofouling, we developed a method of pretreating the effluent with 0.4 mg/L ozone prior to ultrafiltration and backwashing with 8 mg/L H2O2 to sterilize bacteria attached to the membrane surface. This method not only changed the characteristics of the EPS, but also inactivated bacteria by disinfection with H2O2, thereby reducing the amount of EPS. The proposed method provided a long-term stable operation guarantee for ultrafiltration of UBACF effluent.

MATERIALS
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Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
2-Phenylindole, technical grade, 95%