Assessment of pretreatment to microfiltration for desalination in terms of fouling index and molecular weight distribution

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Journal Article
Desalination, 2010, 250 (2), pp. 644 - 647
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In this study, different processes such as flocculation with ferric chloride (FeCl 3 ) and deep bed filtration (sand filtration and dual media filtration) as a pre-treatment to microfiltration (MF) were used for seawater desalination. The performance of these pre-treatments was determined in terms of silt density index (SDI) and modified fouling index (MFI) and flux decline in MF. Flux decline of MF with seawater was 45% without any pre-treatment, 42% after pre-treatment of FeCl 3 flocculation, 24% after pre-treatment of sand filtration with in-line coagulation and 22% after pre-treatment of dual media filtration (sand and anthracite), respectively. MFI and SDI also indicated that deep bed filtration with in-line flocculation was better pre-treatment than flocculation alone. Detailed molecular weight distribution (MWD) of seawater organic matter was examined after different pretreatments. MWD of the initial seawater mainly ranged from 1510 Da to 130 Da. Deep bed filtration with in-line flocculation removed relatively large molecular weight of organic matter (1510-1180 Da), while the small molecular weights (less than 530 Da) were not removed. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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