Application of pulsed UV-irradiation and pre-coagulation to control ultrafiltration membrane fouling in the treatment of micro-polluted surface water.

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Title: Application of pulsed UV-irradiation and pre-coagulation to control ultrafiltration membrane fouling in the treatment of micro-polluted surface water.
Authors: Yu, W
Campos, LC
Graham, N
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: A major cause of ultrafiltration (UF) membrane fouling is the accumulation of microorganisms and their associated soluble products. To mitigate fouling the application of pulsed short-wavelength ultraviolet (UVC) light (around 254 nm) within the membrane tank together with pre-coagulation was investigated. In mini-pilot-scale tests carried out in parallel with conventional pre-treatment (CUF), the impact of pulsed UV (CUF-UV) at different UV irradiances and fluxes on the increase of trans-membrane pressure (TMP) was evaluated and explained in terms of the quantity and nature of membrane deposits in the membrane cake layer and pores. The results indicated that at a flux of 20 L m(-2) h(-1), the pulsed UV (1 min within 31 min cycle) at 3.17 × 10(-2) W/cm(2) prevented any measureable increase in TMP over a period of 32 days, while there was a fourfold increase in TMP for the conventional pre-treatment. For the CUF-UV system the concentration of bacteria and soluble microbial products was much less than the conventional CUF system, and the cake layer was thinner and contained less biopolymers (proteins and polysaccharides). In addition, the pores of the CUF-UV membrane appeared to have less organic deposits, and particularly fractions with a high molecular weight (>10 kDa). At a lower UV irradiance (1.08 × 10(-2) W/cm(2)), or higher flux (40 L m(-2) h(-1)) with the same UV irradiance, there was a measurable increase in TMP, indicating some fouling of the CUF-UV membrane, but the rate of TMP development was significantly lower (∼50%) than the conventional CUF membrane system. Overall, the results show the potential advantages of applying intermittent (pulsed) UVC irradiation with coagulation to control UF membrane fouling.
Issue Date: 23-Oct-2016
Date of Acceptance: 22-Oct-2016
ISSN: 1879-2448
Publisher: IWA Publishing
Start Page: 83
End Page: 92
Journal / Book Title: Water Research
Volume: 107
Copyright Statement: © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Open Access under a Creative Commons license (
Sponsor/Funder: Commission of the European Communities
Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (E
Funder's Grant Number: PIIF-GA-2012-328867
144356 (EP/N010124/1)
Keywords: Coagulation
Membrane fouling
UVC light
Water treatment
Environmental Engineering
MD Multidisciplinary
Publication Status: Published
Conference Place: England
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering

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