Hybrid UV/TiO2 photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) and ultrafiltration (UF) process (PCO-UF) were used to remove humic acid (HA) and control membrane fouling. The PCO-UF process showed advantages in terms of higher removal rate of HA, higher permeate flux and less membrane fouling over UF alone and PCO alone on HA removal and membrane fouling control. Membrane material and pH of feed water were shown to be the influence on the performance of PCO-UF process. It was observed that higher pH of HA feed water and a hydrophobic membrane lead to better removal of HA with relatively higher permeate flux. The experimental results in this study demonstrated that 100 kDa ultraflic UF membrane and pH 9 of HA feed water would be the optimal choice for HA removal in the combined PCO-UF process.
Keywords: humic acid, photocatalytic oxidation, TiO2, ultrafiltration