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Environmental Engineering Research 2011;16(3): 149-157. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2011.16.3.149
Investigation of Al-hydroxide Precipitate Fouling on the Nanofiltration Membrane System with Coagulation Pretreatment: Effect of Inorganic Compound, Organic Compound, and Their Combination
Yang Hun Choi, and Ji Hyang Kweon
Department of Environmental Engineering, Konkuk University, Seoul 143-701, Korea
Corresponding Author: Ji Hyang Kweon ,Tel: +82-2-450-4053, Fax: +82-2-454-4056, Email: jhkweon@konkuk.ac.kr
Received: March 30, 2011;  Accepted: July 25, 2011.
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Nanofiltration (NF) experiments were conducted to investigate fouling of Al-hydroxide precipitate and the influence of organic compound, inorganic compound, and their combination, i.e., multiple foulants. CaCl2 and MgSO4 were employed as surrogates of inorganic compounds while humic acid was used as surrogate of organic compound. The flux attained from NF experiments was fitted with the mathematical fouling model to evaluate the potential fouling mechanisms. Al-hydroxide fouling with a cake formation mechanism had little effect on the NF membrane fouling regardless of the Al concentration. The NF fouling by Al-hydroxide precipitate was deteriorated in presence of inorganic matter. The effect of Mg was more critical in increasing the fouling than Ca. This is because the Mg ions enhanced the resistances of the cake layer accumulated by the Al-hydroxide precipitate on the membrane surfaces. However, the fouling with Mg was dramatically mitigated by adding humic acid. It is interesting to observe that the removal of the conductivity was enhanced to 61.2% in presence of Mg and humic acid from 30.9% with Al-hydroxide alone. The influence of dissolved matter (i.e., colloids) was more negative than particulate matter on the NF fouling for Al-hydroxide precipitate in presence of inorganic and organic matter.
Keywords: Al-hydroxide precipitate | Coagulation | Fouling | Nanofiltration
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