Removal of natural organic matter by titanium tetrachloride: The effect of total hardness and ionic strength

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Journal Article
Journal of Environmental Management, 2014, 134 pp. 20 - 29
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This study is the first attempt to investigate the effect of total hardness and ionic strength on coagulation performance and the floc characteristics of titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4). Membrane fouling under different total hardness and ionic strength conditions was also evaluated during a coagulation–ultrafiltration (C–UF) hybrid process. Coagulation experiments were performed with two simulated waters, using humic acid (HA, high molecular weight) and fulvic acid (FA, relatively low molecular weight), respectively, as model natural organic matter (NOM). Results show that both particle and organic matter removal can be enhanced by increasing total hardness and ionic strength. Floc characteristics were significantly influenced by total hardness and ionic strength and were improved in terms of floc size, growth rate, strength, recoverability and compactness. The results of the UF tests show that the pre-coagulation with TiCl4 significantly improves the membrane permeate fluxes. Under different total hardness and ionic strength conditions, the membrane permeate flux varied according to both NOM and floc characteristics. The increase in total hardness and ionic strength improved the membrane permeate flux in the case of HA simulated water treatment.
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