The Modified Fouling Index Ultrafiltration constant flux for assessing particulate/colloidal fouling of RO systems
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AbstractReliable methods for measuring and predicting the fouling potential of reverse osmosis (RO) feed water are important in preventing and diagnosing fouling at the design stage, and for monitoring pre-treatment performance during plant operation. The Modified Fouling Index Ultrafiltration (MFI-UF) constant flux is a significant development with respect to assessing the fouling potential of RO feed water. This research investigates (1) the variables influencing the MFI-UF test at constant flux filtration (membrane pore size, membrane material, flux rate); and (2) the application of MFI-UF into pre-treatment assessment and RO fouling estimation. The dependency of MFI on flux, means that to assess accurately particulate fouling in RO systems, the MFI should be measured at a flux similar to a RO system (close to 20 L/m2/h) or extrapolated from higher fluxes. The two studied membrane materials showed reproducible results; 10% for PES membranes and 6.3% for RC membranes. Deposition factors (amount of particles that remain on the surface of membrane) were measured in a full-scale plant ranging between 0.2 and 0.5. The concept of “safe MFI” is presented as a guideline for assessing pre-treatment for RO systems.
CitationThe Modified Fouling Index Ultrafiltration constant flux for assessing particulate/colloidal fouling of RO systems 2015, 365:79 Desalination