Membrane fouling is considered a serious obstacle for operation and cost efficiency in wastewater treatment using nanofiltration (NF). However, pretreatment is the most practical way to reduce this prior to NF. In this research, two types of wastewaters were pretreated with different methods prior to NF to examine the effect of pretreatment on membrane fouling in terms of turbidity, chemical oxygen demand (COD) and permeate flux. Turbidity and COD were measured to assess solid foulants and organic species in the wastewater, respectively. The first sample was secondary treated sewage, which was pretreated using coagulation-flocculation-sedimentation (CFS) only. Steady flux was increased from 24 L/m2h for wastewater without pretreatment to 32.1 L/m2h with pretreatment. COD was also eliminated after CFS/NF, and turbidity was reduced to 0.6 NTU. The second sample was diluted biodiesel wastewater, which was pretreated using a combination of powdered-activated carbon (PAC) adsorption and CFS (PAC/CFS). Steady flux was increased from 22.3 L/m2h for wastewater without pretreatment to 28.7 L/m2h with pretreatment; biodiesel wastewater quality also improved. Turbidity was reduced from 12 to 0.6 NTU, and COD was reduced from 526 to 4 mg/L after NF with PAC/CFS pretreatment, while COD was reduced from 526 to 95 mg/L using NF without pretreatment.
- PAC adsorption
- First received 22 June 2015.
- Accepted in revised form 18 January 2016.
- © 2017 The Authors
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