Membrane surface properties and their effects on real waste oil-in-water emulsion ultrafiltration

  • Marjana Simonič Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Maribor, Smetanova 17, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
Keywords: ceramic ultrafiltration, waste oily emulsions, cleaning, scaling


Membrane surface properties and their effect on the efficiency of ultrafiltration (UF) of real waste oily emulsions was studied. Experiments were performed in cross-flow operation at total recycle condition in a lab-scale system. The ceramic UF membrane in the tubular type module was employed. During the experiments permeate flux was measured. The most important influential factors, such as temperature, TMP, and pH, were considered during the experiments. Zeta potential was measured in order to explain the phenomena on the membrane surface. The isoelectric point of the fouled membrane was shifted to the alkaline range. COD removal efficiency reached 89%. Gas chromatography measurements were performed in order to determine the composition of waste emulsions. SEM micrographs showed the formation of calcite on the membrane, which contributed to membrane fouling. Chemical cleaning was examined using alkaline and acid solutions, and a cleaning strategy was determined.

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Research paper