Ultrafitration surface modification for fouling mitigation with applications to water reuse

Xia, Lichao
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Kilduff, James
Nyman, Marianne
Gorby, Yuri
Bae, Chulsung
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Environmental engineering
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To identify membrane surface chemistries that mitigate fouling, we employed two surface modification methods, UV-induced graft polymerization and coating by physical adsorption. Graft polymerization of 2-(Methacryloyloxy)-ethyl-dimethyl-(3-sulfopropyl ammonium hydroxide) (BET(SO3)-) and 2-(Methacryloyloxy) ethyl trimethylammonium chloride (N(CH3)3+) (N(CH¬3)3+) monomers were selected using a high throughput (96-well plates) screening technique from a group of 24 candidates. The performance of BET(SO3)- and N(CH¬3)3+ monomers were verified in bench-scale tests using a dead-end filtration system to filter municipal wastewater treated via MFC, and three model foulants, serum albumin (BSA), sodium alginate (SA), Elliot humic acid (EHA). Performance assessment included measurement of foulant rejection and membrane flux recovery. Two monomer concentrations were employed, 0.2 and 0.6 M. Membranes modified with 0.6 M N(CH¬3)3+ performed better than the as-received (AR) membrane, and the other modified membranes. The effects of mixing were evaluated; mixing significantly decreased membrane fouling and energy consumption during filtration of MFC effluent, which we attribute to enhance the solute back transport. The modified membrane exhibited better flux recovery than the AR membrane; modification did not have a significant impact on solute rejection. Downstream UF treatment of MFC effluent significantly reduced scaling minerals (calcium and magnesium), and also significantly reduced COD.
August 2019
School of Engineering
Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
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