Steffen Bütehorn, Frederike Carstensen, Thomas Wintgens, Thomas Melin, Dirk Volmering, Klaus Vossenkaul:
Permeate flux decline in cross-flow microfiltration at constant pressure
Desalination, 2009, 250(3), 985-990
Microfiltration processes are frequently used to separate solids from aqueous suspensions. The rejection of suspended matter is facilitated by means of a size exclusion mechanism and is affected by membrane properties, characteristics of the suspension and operating conditions. Therefore, the filtration performance of a single polymeric hollow-fibre membrane was investigated by monitoring the permeate flux decline for a filtration at constant transmembrane pressure (TMP). For these bench-scale experiments, a model suspension consisting of silica particles in xanthan gum solutions was used in order to represent the characteristics of biological suspensions such as activated sludge properly. In the framework of this study, it was confirmed that the permeate flux declines rapidly during the first stage of filtration until an equilibrium of particle deposition and entrainment is reached. The steady-state permeate flux was found to increase with an increase in cross-flow velocity, a decrease in solid concentration, a decrease in particle size (for this ratio of particle to pore diameter) and a decrease in apparent viscosity of the suspension. However, the equilibrium permeate flux was not affected by variations in TMP, which is in agreement with the limiting flux theory.
Rheology of activated sludge, Model suspension, Cake layer formation, Long-term filtration performance