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Membrane Water Treatment
  Volume 5, Number 3, July 2014, pages 207-219

Chemical cleaning of fouled polyethersulphone membranes during ultrafiltration of palm oil mill effluent
Muhammad Said, Abdul Wahab Mohammad, Mohd Tusirin Mohd Nor, Siti Rozaimah Sheikh Abdullah and Hassimi Abu Hasan

    Fouling is one of the critical factors associated with the application of membrane technology in treating palm oil mill effluent (POME), due to the presence of high concentration of solid organic matter, oil, and grease. In order to overcome this, chemical cleaning is needed to enhance the effectiveness of membranes for filtration. The potential use of sodium hydroxide (NaOH), sodium chloride (NaCl), hydrochloric acid (HCl), ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), and ultrapure water (UPW) as cleaning agents have been investigated in this study. It was found that sodium hydroxide is the most powerful cleaning agent, the optimum conditions that apply are as follows: 3% for the concentration of NaOH, 45°C for temperature solution, 5 bar operating pressure, and solution pH 11.64. Overall, flux recovery reached 99.5%. SEM images demonstrated that the membrane surface after cleaning demonstrated similar performance to fresh membranes. This is indicative of the fact that NaOH solution is capable of removing almost all of the foulants from PES membranes.
Key Words
    cleaning agent; flux recovery; pressure; temperature; concentration; pH
(1) Muhammad Said:
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, University of Sriwijaya, Palembang, Indonesia;
(2) Muhammad Said, Abdul Wahab Mohammad, Siti Rozaimah Sheikh Abdullah, Hassimi Abu Hasan:
Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
(3) Abdul Wahab Mohammad, Mohd Tusirin Mohd Nor:
Research Centre for Sustainable Process Technology (CESPRO), Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia.

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