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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2018.165
Fouling mechanism identification and backwash parameters screening – Seawater ultrafiltration case
Fatma Zohra Slimane1,2, Fatma Ellouze1,2, and Nihel Ben Amar1,2
1University of Carthage, National Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology, P.O.B. 676, 1080 Tunis, Tunisia
2University of Tunis El Manar, National Engineering School of Tunis, LR99ES20 Mathematical and Numerical Modeling in Engineering Science, LAMSIN, P.O.B. 37, 1002 Tunis, Tunisia
Corresponding Author: Fatma Zohra Slimane ,Tel: +216-21780283 , Fax: +216-71233861, Email: imanslimane@gmail.com
Received: May 3, 2018;  Accepted: August 6, 2018.
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ABSTRACT
This work deals with the membrane fouling mode and the unclogging in seawater ultrafiltration process. The identification of the fouling mechanism by modeling the experimental flux decline was performed using both the classical models of Hermia and the combined models of Bolton. The results show that Bolton models did not bring more precise information than the Hermia’s and the flux decline can be described by one of the four Hermia’s models since the backwash interval is ≤ 60 min. An experimental screening study has been then conducted to choose among 5 parameters (backwash interval, duration, pulses and the flow-rate or injected hypochlorite concentration) those that are the most influential on the fouling and the net water production. It has emerged that fouling is mainly affected by the backwash interval; its prolongation from 30 to 60 min engenders an increase in the reversible fouling and a decrease in the irreversible fouling. This later is also significantly reduced when the hypochlorite concentration increases from 4.5 to 10 ppm. Moreover, the net water production significantly increases with increasing the filtration duration up to 60 min and decreases with decreasing the backwash duration and backwash flow-rate from 10 to 40 s and from 15 to ≥ 20 L.min-1, respectively.
Keywords: Backwash | Design of experiments | Fouling | Ultrafiltration | Water treatment
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