Martha N Chollom and Sudesh Rathilal
Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Chromatogr Sep Tech
Fouling causes a decrease in permeate flux due to the deposition of substances on the membrane. Regenerating the membrane by cleaning is therefore critical to make the process a viable one for application in industries. Most studies are focused on the regeneration of the membranes alone; in this study, the membranes were regenerated and membrane performance with respect to permeate quality evaluated afterwards. Ultrafiltration was used in this study for the pre-treatment of feed. Pre-treated feed was filtered using two nanofilters (SR90 and NF90). All the membranes used in this study were subjected to cleaning by using physical (backwashing) means for UF while forward flushing was used for the NF membranes followed by chemical cleaning. Cleaning was carried out at the end of each filtration while each membrane had three cleaning cycles on average. From these results, it was observed that both the flux and rejection of the membranes was not affected significantly. The findings show that membranes used for the treatment of the effluent were recovered by means of chemical cleaning. The recovered fluxes were about 80% of the original PWF even after cleaning for the third cycle. It was concluded that the NF membranes are suitable for the treatment of textile effluents since the major problem, which is fouling, can be overcome by carrying out intermittent chemical cleaning.