Natural Organic Matter and Particle Fouling of Spiral-Wound Nanofiltration Membrane ElementsEPA Grant Number: GF9500170
Title: Natural Organic Matter and Particle Fouling of Spiral-Wound Nanofiltration Membrane Elements
Investigators: Champlin, Tory L.
Institution: Colorado State University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: September 1, 1995 through August 30, 1996
Project Amount: $24,446
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1995) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Fellowship - Engineering
The purpose of this study is to examine membrane fouling by natural organic matter (NOM) and particles in water. Experiments planned are based on preliminary results obtained during a recent EPA project which examined the removal capabilities for disinfection by product (DBP) precursors and fouling of nanofiltration membranes by low turbidity surface waters. The research is intended to expand on this study by focusing specifically on NOM and particle fouling. The specific objectives include: 1) describing the extent of NOM and particle deposition by spiral-wound nanofiltration membrane elements, 2) relate and model depositions of NOM and particles with observations of fouling, 3) delineate the relative magnitude of reversible and irreversible fouling associated with NOM and particles, and 4) delineate the fouling mechanisms associated with NOM and particles. The experimental design includes both empirical and analytical investigations. The empirical investigations will examine fouling and deposition at a macroscopic scale through recirculation studies using and available membrane pilot-plant. The analytical investigations will examine deposition at a microscopic scale through inspection of dissected membrane elements, electron microscopic examinations and pore characterization tests. Although effective, water utilities are hesitant to pursue membrane filtration methods for water systems due to the high cost of equipment and the costs and downtime associated with membrane replacement. The results of this project will serve as the basis for development of new membrane technologies which minimize fouling and/or the selection of effective pretreatment options.