Algae-Laden Fouling Control by Gravity-Driven Membrane Ultrafiltration with Aluminum Sulfate-Chitosan: The Property of Floc and Cake Layer
Gravity-driven membrane (GDM) ultrafiltration is a promising water treatment method due to its low energy consumption and low maintenance. However, the low stable permeability in algae-laden water treatment is currently limiting its wider application. With the ultimate goal of increasing permeability, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a composite coagulant of aluminum sulfate-chitosan (AS-CS) on the GDM filtration performance. In parallel tests with a single AS coagulant and
... AS coagulant and without pre-coagulation, the analysis of membrane fouling resistance and the membrane fouling mechanism were evaluated. The results indicated that the AS-CS/GDM system can alleviate 23.74% and 58.80% membrane fouling, respectively, compared with AS/GDM and the GDM system. The AS-CS/GDM system can effectively remove humic-like substances having a molecular weight (MW) of 3–100 kDa, resulting in removal of 98.32% of algae cells and removal of 66.25% of dissolved organic carbon; the AS-CS/GDM system thereby improved the concentration of attached biomass on the membrane surface with the stronger biodegradability of organic matters. The application of AS-CS pre-coagulation in the GDM process could enhance the proliferation of microorganisms and the removal of low molecular weight humic-like substances. Therefore, the AS-CS/GDM system is a potentially important approach for algae-laden water treatment.