Removal behaviors and fouling mechanisms of charged antibiotics and nanoparticles on forward osmosis membrane

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Environmental Management, 2019, 247 pp. 385 - 393
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© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Fouling and rejection mechanisms of both charged antibiotics (ABs) and nanoparticles (NPs) were determined using a negatively-charged polyamide thin film composite forward osmosis (FO) flat sheet membrane. Two types of ABs and NPs were selected as positively and negatively charged foulants at pH 8. The ABs did not cause significant membrane fouling, but the extent of fouling and rejection changed based on the electrostatic attraction or repulsion forces. The addition of opposite charged AB and NP resulted in a decline of the membrane flux by 11.0% but a 6.5% AB average rejection efficiency improvement. On the other hand, mixing of like-charged ABs and NPs generated repulsive forces that improved average rejection efficiency about 5.5% but made no changes in the membrane flux. In addition, NPs and ABs were mixed and tested at various concentrations and pH levels to rectify the behavior of ABs. The aggregate size and removal efficiency were observed to vary with the change in the electron double layer of the mixture. It can help to make the strategy to control the ABs in the FO process and consequently it enables the FO process to produce environmentally safe effluent.
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