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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2018.164
Fouling control in a woven fibre microfiltration membrane for water treatment
Martha N. Chollom1, Sudesh Rathilal1, Kumnandi Pikwa1, and V. L. Pillay2
1Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Department of Chemical Engineering, Durban University of Technology, 4001 Berea, 70 Mansfield Road. Durban, South Africa
2Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1 Matieland 7602, South Africa
Corresponding Author: Martha N. Chollom ,Tel: +27-732663415 , Email: mnchollom@gmail.com
Received: May 2, 2018;  Accepted: October 11, 2018.
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ABSTRACT
Current available commercial membranes are not robust and are therefore destroyed if left to dry out or handled roughly. Woven fibre microfiltration (WFMF) membranes have advantages over its competitors with respect to durability, thus, favourable for the developing economies and operation during rough conditions. Evaluation of the effects of aeration and brushing as a flux enhancement strategies for WFMF membrane was the purpose of this study. The WFMF membrane was found to be susceptible to pore plugging by colloidal material and adsorption/attachment by microbiological contaminants. This led to a 50% loss in flux. Aeration as a single flux enhancement strategy proved insufficient to maintain high flux successfully. Therefore combined flux enhancement strategies yielded the best results.
Keywords: Aeration | Flux enhancement | Fouling | POU | South Africa | Woven fibre membrane
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