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Title: Fouling mitigation on a woven fibre microfiltration membrane for the treatment of raw water
Authors: Chollom, Martha Noro 
Pikwa, Kumnandi 
Rathilal, Sudesh 
Pillay, Visvanathan Lingamurti 
Keywords: Fouling mitigation;Brushing;Adsorption;Woven fibre membrane;Cleaning
Issue Date: Jun-2017
Publisher: Institution of Chemical Engineers
Source: Chollom, M. N. 2017. Fouling mitigation on a woven fibre microfiltration membrane for the treatment of raw water. South African Journal of Chemical Engineering. 23: 1-9.
Journal: South African journal of chemical engineering 
The main source of drinking water in rural areas of South Africa is surface water. Improving drinking water and sanitation facilities alone does not completely solve the problem of waterborne diseases. A novel simple gravity driven filtration unit incorporated with the woven fibre microfiltration (WFMF) membranes was developed for the treatment of raw water for drinking purposes. However, these membranes are susceptible to fouling which reduces flux permeation. This paper focused on evaluating the fouling mitigation strategies to improve on performance of the woven fibre membrane filtration unit with respect to fouling and flux recovery. The study found that the WFMF membrane fouled both internally by pore plugging and externally by adsorption and deposition on the membrane. As a result, a single flux enhancement strategy proved insufficient to maintain high flux successfully. A combination of strategies gave the best optimum conditions for flux production. Backwashing with a combination of brushing yielded the highest recovery of 187%. Soaking the membranes in 0.2% hypochlorite for an hour and thereafter by brushing them yielded 93% flux recovery. Mechanical cleaning however yielded the best result with 97% flux recovery. It was concluded that the selected strategies were the most successful strategies to prevent a sharp decline in flux due to fouling and giving high average flux for the filtration period.
ISSN: 1026-9185
Appears in Collections:Research Publications (Engineering and Built Environment)

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