Organic fouling and floc transport in capillaries

Elizabeth Arkhangelsky, André Lerch, Wolfgang Uhl, Vitaly Gitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Coagulation and adsorption are two widely recommended pretreatments to ultrafiltration (UF) membranes. Optimal concentrations of ferric chloride and powdered activated carbon (PAC) are reducing membrane fouling and increasing the retention of the organic matter. Intuitive pretreatment may result in either increased fouling or in low retention of organic matter. In addition, the inside-out capillaries might become partially plugged by the formed flocs. The understanding of the fouling mechanisms in inside-out capillaries is therefore a challenging and much practically needed task. We investigated the fouling using an unique setup with separate measurements of flux and retention of organic matter in five segments of a 1.5-m long multibore capillary. The high coagulant doses resulted in average 90% humic acid retention and in severe fouling. The use of powdered activated carbon at higher pH also contributed to severe increases in membrane resistance. As the filtration progressed, the dead-end part of the capillary (far from the feed) gradually became clogged with flocs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-489
Number of pages8
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 18 2011


  • Membrane length
  • Organic fouling
  • Pretreatment
  • Transport phenomena
  • UF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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