Titanium tetrachloride for silver nanoparticle-humic acid composite contaminant removal in coagulation-ultrafiltration hybrid process: floc property and membrane fouling

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Journal Article
Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2017, 24 (2), pp. 1757 - 1768
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© 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Titanium-based coagulation is expected to achieve both efficient water purification and sludge recycling. This study is the first attempt to use titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) for silver nanoparticle (AgNP)-humic acid composite contaminant removal in a coagulation-ultrafiltration (C-UF) process, where characterization of flocs and membrane fouling under varied coagulant dose, initial solution pH, and AgNP concentration conditions are the main contents. Results suggested that the TiCl4 achieved high AgNP removal in the form of silver nanoparticle through adsorption and sweep flocculation and simultaneously exerted additional 68.2 % higher dissolved organic carbon removal than Al2(SO4)3. The TiCl4 produced larger and stronger flocs but with weaker recoverability and less compact degree than did Al2(SO4)3. Floc properties were independent of AgNP concentration except floc fractal dimension, which was negatively correlated with AgNP concentration. The TiCl4 precoagulation caused less membrane fouling within wider pH range than Al2(SO4)3 did in the C-UF process. Incorporation of AgNPs during the TiCl4 pretreatment process facilitated the mitigation of membrane fouling, which was, however, negligibly influenced by AgNP concentration in the case of Al2(SO4)3.
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