Comparison of NF membrane fouling and cleaning by two pretreatment strategies for the advanced treatment of antibiotic production wastewater

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The nanofiltration (NF) membrane fouling characteristics and cleaning strategies were investigated and compared for treating membrane bioreactor (MBR) effluent and MBR-granular activated carbon (GAC) effluent of an antibiotic production wastewater by DK membrane. Results showed that the fouling of treating MBR effluent was more severe than that of treating MBR-GAC effluent. After filtering for 216 h, the difference of membrane flux decline was obvious between MBR effluent and MBR-GAC effluent, with 14.9% and 10.3% flux decline, respectively. Further study showed that organic fouling is the main NF membrane fouling in the advanced treatment of antibiotic production wastewater for both of the two different effluents. Soluble microbial by-product like and tyrosine-like substances were the dominant components in the foulants, whereas humic-like substances existing in the effluents had little contribution to the NF membrane fouling. A satisfactory efficiency of NF chemical cleaning could be obtained using combination of acid (HCl, pH 2.0–2.5) and alkali (NaOH + 0.3 wt% NaDS, pH 10.0–10.5). The favorable cleaning strategy is acid-alkali for treating the MBR-GAC effluent, while it is alkali-acid for treating the MBR effluent.

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