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Membrane Water Treatment   Volume 2, Number 3, July 2011, pages 175-185
Comparative performance evaluation of two UF pilot plants at the Alto da Boa Vista WTP (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
T.F. Oliveira and J.C. Mierzwa

Abstract     [Buy Article]
    Ultrafiltration is an emerging technology for drinking water treatment because it produces better water quality as compared with conventional treatment systems. More recently, the combination of UF technology with other processes in order to improve its performance has been observed. These associations aim to maximize the contaminants removal and reduce membrane fouling. The operational performance of contaminants removal and water production of two UF pilot plants was compared. The first plant (Guarapiranga) was fed with raw water and the second plant (ABV) with pre-treated water by the coagulation, flocculation and sedimentation processes at Alto da Boa Vista WTP (Sao Paulo, Brazil). Both units operated continuously for approximately 2,500 hours, from September/2009 to January/2010. The results showed that the ABV UF pilot plant was able to operate at higher specific fluxes (6.2 L.d−1.m−2.kPa−1 @ 25oC) than Guarapiranga (3.1 L.d−1.m−2.kPa−1 @ 25oC). However, the number of chemical cleanings conducted in both pilot units during the considered operation period was the same (4 chemical cleanings for each plant), which shows that the pre-treatment reduced the membrane fouling. The water quality at ABV for all the variables analyzed was better, but the feed water quality was also better due to pretreatment. The rejection values for the different contaminants were higher at Guarapiranga mainly because of a pollution load reduction after pretreatment at ABV. Even with the better performance of the ABV UF pilot plant, it is necessary to take into consideration the complexity of the complete treatment system, and also the costs involved in the construction and operation of a full-scale treatment unit.
Key Words
    ultrafiltration; drinking water treatment; pretreatment; performance comparison; pilot plant
Escola Politecnica da Universidade de Sao Paulo. Hydraulic and Sanitary Engineering Department, Sao Paulo, Brazil

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