Relationship between organic fouling of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) ultrafiltration (UF) membranes and the fluorescence signature of dissolved organic matter in raw and pretreated feed waters Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Jutaporn, Panitan
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
  • The overall objective of this study was to elucidate the relationship between the dissolved organic matter (DOM) fractions that cause ultrafiltration (UF) membrane fouling, those that are present in feed waters, and those that are removed by pretreatment processes across a range of water sources. To achieve this overall objective, the following specific objectives were pursued: (i) to investigate the relationship between DOM removal by various pretreatment processes and the associated UF fouling reduction; (ii) to evaluate whether fluorescence excitation-emission matrices (EEMs) can be used as a tool to predict the capability of a pretreatment process to reduce fouling; (iii) to evaluate whether EEM coupled with parallel factor (PARAFAC) analysis can be used as a predictor of fouling potential of feed waters. The pretreatment processes evaluated were coagulation (alum and ferric chloride), powder activated carbon (PAC) adsorption, chlorine pre-oxidation with sodium hypochlorite, and ion exchange by MIEX resin. Fouling tests were performed using a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) hollow-fiber UF membrane and a group of eight water sources with a broad range of water qualities. The results and analyses support the following major conclusions: (i) microbial protein-like DOM is a more important contributor to fouling than terrestrial DOM, relative to their respective abundance in source waters; (ii) in terms of fouling reduction, alum and ferric chloride coagulation were the most effective pretreatment processes, MIEX was moderately effective, and PAC adsorption and chlorine pre-oxidation were the least effective; (iii) fouling reduction was strongly correlated with the reduction of microbial DOM in foulant layers; and (vi) the fluorescence of microbial DOM at excitation-emission coordinates of 250(280)/352 (nm/nm) was significantly correlated to the UF membrane fouling potential of a variety of water sources before and after a variety of pretreatment processes. Overall, pretreatments that are effective in removing protein-like DOM are well suited toward UF membrane fouling reduction. The high predictive power of EEM coupled with PARAFAC analysis suggests that they are an effective tool for quantifying the fouling potential of source waters.
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  • In Copyright
  • Singer, Philip
  • Boyer, Trevor
  • Weinberg, Howard
  • Coronell, Orlando
  • Cory, Rose
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016

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