In the past, microfiltration was widely used as a pretreatment step for wastewater stream purification purposes. Experiences performed during the last years shows that microfiltration fails to maintain its performances for longer period of times. Many case studies demonstrate that the adoption of microfiltration leads to the failure of the overall process; the severe fouling of the microfiltration membranes leads to high operating costs with the consequence to make the treatment of the wastewater economically unfeasible. The boundary flux concept is a profitable tool to analyze fouling issues in membrane processes. The boundary flux value separates an operating region characterized by reversible fouling formation from irreversible one. Boundary flux values are not content, but function of time, as calculated by the subboundary fouling rate value. The knowledge of both parameters may fully describe the membrane performances in sub-boundary operating regimes. Many times, for wastewater purification purposes, ultrafiltration membranes appear to be suits better to the needs, even they exhibit lower permeate fluxes compared to microfiltration. Key to this choice is that ultrafiltration appears to resist better to fouling issues, with a limited reduction of the performances as a function of time. In other words, it appears that ultrafiltration exhibit higher boundary flux values and lower sub-boundary fouling rates. In this work, after a brief introduction to the boundary flux concept, for many different wastewater streams (more than 20, produced by the most relevant industries in food, agriculture, manufacture, pharmaceutics), the boundary flux and sub-boundary fouling rate values of different microfiltration and ultrafiltration membranes will be discussed and compared. The possibility to successfully use microfiltration as a pretreatment step strongly depends on the feedstock characteristics and, in detail, on the particle size of the suspended matter. In most cases, microfiltration demonstrates to be technically unsuitable for pretreatment purposes of many wastewater streams; as a consequence, the adoption of microfiltration pushes operators to exceed boundary flux conditions, therefore triggering severe fouling, that leads to economic unfeasibility of the process in long terms.

About the limits of microfiltration for the purification of wastewaters / Stoller, M.; Vilardi, G.; Ochando Pulido, J. M.; Di Palma, L.. - ELETTRONICO. - (2017), pp. 1-5. ((Intervento presentato al convegno 15th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology tenutosi a Rhodes, Greece nel 31/08/2017 - 02/09/2017.

About the limits of microfiltration for the purification of wastewaters

Stoller M.
;
Vilardi G.;Di Palma L.
2017

Abstract

In the past, microfiltration was widely used as a pretreatment step for wastewater stream purification purposes. Experiences performed during the last years shows that microfiltration fails to maintain its performances for longer period of times. Many case studies demonstrate that the adoption of microfiltration leads to the failure of the overall process; the severe fouling of the microfiltration membranes leads to high operating costs with the consequence to make the treatment of the wastewater economically unfeasible. The boundary flux concept is a profitable tool to analyze fouling issues in membrane processes. The boundary flux value separates an operating region characterized by reversible fouling formation from irreversible one. Boundary flux values are not content, but function of time, as calculated by the subboundary fouling rate value. The knowledge of both parameters may fully describe the membrane performances in sub-boundary operating regimes. Many times, for wastewater purification purposes, ultrafiltration membranes appear to be suits better to the needs, even they exhibit lower permeate fluxes compared to microfiltration. Key to this choice is that ultrafiltration appears to resist better to fouling issues, with a limited reduction of the performances as a function of time. In other words, it appears that ultrafiltration exhibit higher boundary flux values and lower sub-boundary fouling rates. In this work, after a brief introduction to the boundary flux concept, for many different wastewater streams (more than 20, produced by the most relevant industries in food, agriculture, manufacture, pharmaceutics), the boundary flux and sub-boundary fouling rate values of different microfiltration and ultrafiltration membranes will be discussed and compared. The possibility to successfully use microfiltration as a pretreatment step strongly depends on the feedstock characteristics and, in detail, on the particle size of the suspended matter. In most cases, microfiltration demonstrates to be technically unsuitable for pretreatment purposes of many wastewater streams; as a consequence, the adoption of microfiltration pushes operators to exceed boundary flux conditions, therefore triggering severe fouling, that leads to economic unfeasibility of the process in long terms.
15th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology
membranes, fouling, boundary flux, wastewater treatment, microfiltration
04 Pubblicazione in atti di convegno::04b Atto di convegno in volume
About the limits of microfiltration for the purification of wastewaters / Stoller, M.; Vilardi, G.; Ochando Pulido, J. M.; Di Palma, L.. - ELETTRONICO. - (2017), pp. 1-5. ((Intervento presentato al convegno 15th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology tenutosi a Rhodes, Greece nel 31/08/2017 - 02/09/2017.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1058063
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