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Membrane Water Treatment
  Volume 6, Number 2, March 2015, pages 161-172

Organic fouling in forward osmosis (FO): Membrane flux behavior and foulant quantification
Shengji Xia, Lijuan Yao, Ruilin Yang and Yumin Zhou

    Forward osmosis (FO) is an emerging membrane technology with potential applications in desalination and wastewater reclamation. The osmotic pressure gradient across the FO membrane is used to generate water flux. In this study, flux performance and foulant deposition on the FO membrane were systematically investigated with a co-current cross-flow membrane system. Sodium alginate (SA), bovine serum albumin (BSA) and tannic acid (TA) were used as model foulants. Organics adsorbed on the membrane were peeled off via oscillation and characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). When an initial flux of 8.42 L/m2h was applied, both flux reduction and foulant deposition were slight for the feed solution containing BSA and TA. In comparison, flux reduction and foulant deposition were much more severe for the feed solution containing SA, as a distinct SA cake-layer was formed on the membrane surface and played a crucial role in membrane fouling. In addition, as the initial SA concentration increased in FS, the thickness of the cake-layer increased remarkably, and the membrane fouling became more severe.
Key Words
    forward osmosis; membrane fouling; permeate flux; adsorption
State Key laboratory of Pollution Control and Resources Reuse, Tongji University, Shanghai, 200092, China.

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