For advanced water treatment, effects of pH and pure polypropylene (PP) beads packing concentration on membrane fouling and treatment efficiency were observed in a hybrid process of alumina ceramic microfiltration (MF; pore size 0.1 μm) and pure PP beads. Instead of natural organic matters and fine inorganic particles in natural water source, a quantity of humic acid (HA) and kaolin was dissolved in distilled water. The synthetic feed flowed inside the MF membrane, and the permeated water contacted the PP beads fluidized in the gap of the membrane and the acryl module case with outside UV irradiation. Periodic air back-flushing was performed to control membrane fouling during 10 s per 10 min. The membrane fouling resistance (Rf) was the maximum at 30 g/L of PP bead concentration. Finally, the maximum total permeated volume (VT) was acquired at 5 g/L of PP beads, because flux maintained higher all through the operation. The treatment efficiency of turbidity was almost constant, independent of PP bead concentration; however, that of dissolved organic materials (DOM) showed the maximal at 50 g/L of PP beads. The Rf increased as increasing feed pH from 5 to 9; however, the maximum VT was acquired at pH 6. It means that the membrane fouling could be inhibited at low acid condition. The treatment efficiency of turbidity increased a little, and that of DOM increased from 73.6 to 75.7% as increasing pH from 5 to 9.
Water treatment pH Polypropylene bead Microfiltration UV irradiation Air back-flushing
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This research was supported by the Hallym University Research Fund, 2017 (HRF-201701-011).
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