IWA Publishing

Effective natural organic matter removal in pond water by carbon nanotube membrane with flocculation/adsorption

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

A carbon nanotube (CNT) ultrafiltration (UF) membrane was applied to natural organic matter (NOM) removal in pond water treatment. The source water was pretreated by flocculation and/or adsorption prior to the UF process to alleviate permeate flux decline and improve NOM removal efficiency. The performance of a commercial polyethersulfone (PES) UF membrane was compared to evaluate that of the CNT membrane. The CNT membrane outperformed the PES-UF membrane. The permeate flux, total organic carbon and humic acid (HA) removal rate of the CNT membrane was observed to be 230 LMH/bar, 60%, and 80% when 30 mg/L poly aluminium chloride (PACI) flocculation was applied. This highlights that the permeate flux was three times higher with slightly higher rejection efficiency than the PES-UF membrane. In particular, severe permeate flux decline was completely overcome by the CNT membrane with 30 mg/L PACI coagulation. For powder activated carbon (PAC) adsorption, even though there was a severe permeate flux decline in the CNT membrane, almost complete HA removal (98%) was achieved when 0.5 g/L PAC adsorption was coupled. Based on the superior performance of the CNT membrane with pretreatment, the CNT membrane is suggested to be a robust system for a high concentration of organic matter pond water treatment without membrane flux decline.

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