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Water Supply Vol 3 No 5 pp 183–190 © IWA Publishing 2003

Nanofiltration membrane fouling by conventionally treated surface water

R. Liikanen*, H. Kiuru**, T. Tuhkanen*** and M. Nyström****

*Laboratory of Environmental Engineering, Helsinki University of Technology, PO Box 5200, FIN-02015 HUT, Finland (E-mail: riina.liikanen@hut.fi)
**Laboratory of Environmental Engineering, Helsinki University of Technology, PO Box 5200, FIN-02015 HUT, Finland (E-mail: heikki.kiuru@hut.fi)
***Environmental Engineering and Biotechnology, Tampere University of Technology, FIN 33101, Finland (E-mail: tuula.tuhkanen@tut.fi)
****Laboratory of Membrane Technology and Technical Polymer Chemistry, Lappeenranta University of Technology, FIN 53581, Finland (E-mail: marianne.nystrom@lut.fi)


ABSTRACT
Nanofiltration is a very effective technique for improving the removal of trace organics after a conventional chemical water treatment train. However, the fouling of the membranes decreases the applicability of the process, and thus, an understanding and control of membrane fouling are crucial for a more widespread use of nanofiltration in water treatment. The fouling of different nanofiltration membranes by pre-treated surface waters was investigated in a laboratory-scale filtration unit in this study. The results indicate that the traditional chemical treatment does not remove membrane foulants from the surface water. No correlation was found between the feed water constituents and nanofiltration performance, but most feed water components are expected to interact in membrane fouling. Actually, the performance of the nanofiltration process was more related to membrane than to feed water characteristics.

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