Humic acid fouling during ultrafiltration

Wei Yuan, Andrew Zydney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

345 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent studies have shown that natural organic matter (e.g., humic and fulvic acids) is a major foulant during ultrafiltration of surface water. The objective of this study was to develop a more complete understanding of the mechanisms governing humic acid fouling, including the effects of humic acid adsorption, concentration polarization, and aggregate deposition on the rate and extent of fouling. Data were obtained with Aldrich and Suwannee River humic acids using ultrafiltration membranes with a broad range of molecular Weight cutoffs. Fouled membranes were also examined using streaming potential and contact angle measurements. The extent of flux decline was greatest for the largest molecular weight cutoff membranes due to the greater relative hydraulic resistance of the humic acid deposit formed on the surface of these membranes. This humic acid deposit reduced the apparent zeta potential and increased the membrane contact angle. Simple static adsorption and concentration polarization caused relatively little flux decline. Humic acid aggregates had a significant effect on fouling only for the larger molecular weight cutoff membranes. The rate and extent of humic acid fouling increased at low pH, high ionic strength, and in the presence of calcium due to changes in intermolecular electrostatic interactions. These results provide important insights into the mechanisms of humic acid fouling during ultrafiltration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5043-5050
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume34
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000

Fingerprint

Humic Substances
Ultrafiltration
Fouling
ultrafiltration
fouling
humic acid
Membranes
membrane
Molecular weight
Contact angle
Deposits
Polarization
polarization
Fluxes
Adsorption
streaming potential
adsorption
Zeta potential
Angle measurement
Coulomb interactions

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

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Humic acid fouling during ultrafiltration. / Yuan, Wei; Zydney, Andrew.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 34, No. 23, 01.12.2000, p. 5043-5050.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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