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Water Res. 2011 Dec 1;45(19):6471-8. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2011.09.039. Epub 2011 Sep 24.

Precoagulation-microfiltration for wastewater reuse.

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Cranfield Water Science Institute, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL, UK.


A range of coagulant chemicals and doses, up to 2 mg/L, were trialled on a microfiltration-based indirect potable reuse (IPR) pilot plant to evaluate their impact on membrane reversible and irreversible fouling. Jar tests revealed these doses to have negligible impact on organic matter removal, whilst scoping pilot trials showed them to have a positive impact on fouling rates. Initial trials carried out over a 6-h period suggested that ferric sulphate was the most promising of the coagulants tested with regards to irreversible fouling. Extended five-day trials using ferric sulphate at 0.5 mg/L were conducted at fluxes of 40-50 l/(m(2)h) (LMH). Operation at 50 LMH without coagulant resulted in rapid fouling and a subsequent shortening of the chemical cleaning interval. The addition of the ferric coagulant resulted in a reduction in both reversible and irreversible fouling to those levels experienced at 40 LMH, enabling sustainable operation. The use of low levels of coagulant thus enables the pilot plant to operate at a 25% increased flux, equating to a 20% reduction in membrane area and overall savings of >0.1 p per m(3) for a seven year membrane life.

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