IWA Publishing

Critical flux investigation in treating o/w emulsion by TiO2/Al2O3-PVDF UF membrane

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

A standard transmembrane pressure (TMP) step method has been used in membrane fouling assessment in tube ultrafiltration (UF) membrane system treating oil water (o/w) emulsion operated at constant TMP. Three flux reduction curve with different o/w concentration based on TMP variation were concluded by experiment, then, to describe fouling behavior and identify the occurrence of fouling in the so-called critical flux. Furthermore, sub-critical and super-critical flux experiment with a long time was determined, and zero rate of flux reduction (dF/dt) was never found during the whole trial period, indicating that critical flux in o/w UF process with its strict definition could not be defined in this paper. However, quasi-critical flux exists, under which the pollution rate was very slow. Moreover, a high-efficiency four steps cleaning method: mechanic scraping, pure water wash, pure water reverse wash, and dosing cleaning, was explored. It concluded that critical flux in real o/w UF system determined by TMP-step method can be used to predict long-term critical behavior with useful data on fouling propensity.

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