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RETENTION OF HUMIC ACID FROM WATER BY NANOFILTRATION MEMBRANE AND INFLUENCE OF SOLUTION CHEMISTRY ON MEMBRANE PERFORMANCE

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Author(s): M. A. Zazouli, S. Nasseri, A. H. Mahvi, M. Gholami, A. R. Mesdaghinia, M. Younesian

Journal: Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering
ISSN 1735-1979

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 11;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Natural organic matter | humic acid | membrane fouling | nanofiltration | water treatment

ABSTRACT
The objectives of this research were to investigate the rejection efficiency of salt and hydrophobic fraction of natural organic matter, to study the flux decline behavior with a spiral wound nanofiltration membrane, and also to survey the influence of water chemistry on membrane performance. Experiments were conducted using a cross flow pilot-scale membrane unit with a full circulation mode. Humic acid was used as hydrophobic organic matter and NaCl as background electrolyte. Results showed that flux reduction increased with increasing ionic strength and humic acid concentration, and with lower pH. The rejection efficiency of organic and salt decreased with the decrease in pH and increase in ionic strength, because of osmotic pressure increase, leading to permeate flux decline and decrease in salt rejection. In addition, the improved salt rejection was likely due to Donnan exclusion by humic material close to membrane surfaces. The average rejection efficiency of humic acid and salt ranged between 91.2%-95.25% and 63.6%-80%, respectively. Dissolved organic carbon concentration was less than 0.57mg/L in permeate for all experiments. With increasing organic concentration, the charge of the membrane surface has become more negative due to the adsorption of organic foulants on the membrane surface, and thus increased the electrostatic repulsion. However, the increasing surface charge had the potential to result in a larger molecular weight cut-off of a fouled membrane due to membrane swelling which can lead to lower rejection solutes. Therefore, results of this study indicated that membrane fouling may significantly affect the rejection of organic and ion solute.
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