Nanofiltration performance (i.e. rejection and flux decline) of lead solutions was investigated using a dead-end test cell at room temperature. An aromatic polyamide NF-90 membrane was chosen to determine the impacts of solution chemistry. The experimental results revealed that solution flux decline was dependent on solution pH, ionic strength, and type of lead solutions. Solution flux conducted with different types of lead solutions (i.e. PbCl2 and Pb(NO3)2) decreased with increased solution pH. Solutions having high pH exhibited greater flux decline than those having low solution pH, while lead ion rejections were relatively high. Increased ionic strengths resulted in a greater flux decline, while lead ion rejections decreased with decreasing solution pH and increasing ionic strengths. Such results were related to low solution pH, suggesting an increase in fixed charge of proton (H+), decreasing electrical double layer thickness within membrane, thus allowing increased lead concentration passing through the membrane surface. Solution flux and rejection decreased further at higher ionic strengths, which caused a reduced negatively charged membrane, and thus decreased rejections. It was also found that lead ion for PbCl2 solution exhibited higher rejections than that of Pb(NO3)2 solution.
Keywords: flux decline, lead solution, nanofiltration, solution chemistry