The performance of an ultrafiltration (UF)-biochar process was evaluated in comparison with a UF membrane process for the removal of humic acid (HA). Bench-scale UF experiments were conducted to study the rejection and flux trends under various hydrodynamic, pH, ionic strength, and pressure conditions. The resistance-in-series model was used to evaluate the processes and it showed that unlike stirred conditions, where low fouling resistance was observed (28.7 × 1012 m−1 to 32.5 × 1012 m−1), higher values and comparable trends were obtained for UF-biochar and UF alone for unstirred conditions (28.7 × 1012 m−1 to 32.5 × 1012 m−1). Thus, the processes were further evaluated under unstirred conditions. Additionally, total fouling resistance was decreased in the presence of biochar by 6%, indicating that HA adsorption by biochar could diminish adsorption fouling on the UF membrane and thus improve the efficiency of the UF-biochar process. The rejection trends of UF-biochar and UF alone were similar in most cases, whereas UF-biochar showed a noticeable increase in flux of around 18–25% under various experimental conditions due to reduced membrane fouling. Three-cycle filtration tests further demonstrated that UF-biochar showed better membrane recovery and antifouling capability by showing more HA rejection (3–5%) than UF membrane alone with each subsequent cycle of filtration. As a result of these findings, the UF-biochar process may potentially prove be a viable treatment option for the removal of HA from water.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a grant (code 17IFIP-B088091-04) from Industrial Facilities & Infrastructure Research Program funded by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korean government.
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd
- Antifouling capability
- Humic acid
- Membrane recovery