Cleaning UF membranes with simple and formulated solutions

Inna Levitsky, Aviv Duek, Ronen Naim, Elizabeth Arkhangelsky, Vitaly Gitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The ultrafiltration membranes fouled by proteins are typically cleaned by consecutive soaking in alkali, surfactant and oxidizing solutions. We combined all three chemicals into a formulated cleaning agent and examined its efficiency to restore the water flux without damaging the membrane or enhancing protein fouling. Lower concentrations of ingredients in the composite were required to restore the water flux to the initial level. The membrane after the cleaning remained intact and subsequent filtration left trace protein amount on the membrane surface. We propose a mechanism of cleaning based on a fast penetration of alkali and oxidizing ingredients through a fouling layer and efficient micellation of detached foulants with surfactant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-683
Number of pages5
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 13 2012


  • BSA
  • Cleaning efficiency
  • Cleaning intensity
  • PES
  • PVDF
  • Protein separation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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