Assessing membrane fouling potential of humic acid using flow field-flow fractionation

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Journal Article
Journal of Membrane Science, 2011, 373 (1-2), pp. 64 - 73
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Flow field-flow fractionation (FlFFF), although a separation technique, has many similarities with the crossflow membrane filtration system, thereby making it an ideal tool for studying membrane fouling. This study reports the assessment of the fouling potential of humic acid on ultrafiltration membrane using asymmetrical FlFFF. The fouling potential of organic matter was assessed by quantifying the reversible and irreversible adsorption of humic acid on the membrane through analysis of FlFFF fractogram. A strong correlation was observed between the reversible/irreversible adsorption data analysed and the membrane fouling potential. This assessment was further complimented by moment analysis results in order to interpret the fouling potential of humic acid. However, further researches are necessary before this approach can serve as an alternative index for measuring membrane fouling propensity. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
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