Author(s): Jarusutthirak C, Amy G
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Abstract Soluble microbial products (SMP), a significant component of effluent organic matter (EfOM), play an important role in membrane fouling and flux decline in wastewater reclamation/reuse applications. The SMP compounds of a microbial origin are derived during biological processes of wastewater treatment. They exhibit the characteristics of hydrophilic organic colloids and macromolecules. These high molecular weight compounds play an important role in creating high resistance of the membrane, leading to a reduction of permeate flux. The SMP fouling of RO, NF, and tight UF membranes is associated with formation of a cake/gel layer due to size (steric) exclusion. FTIR spectra of SMP- and EfOM-fouled membranes exhibited foulants' composition, consisting of polysaccharides, proteins, and/or aminosugar-like compounds. This finding reveals the important role of the SMP components as factors in membrane fouling and flux decline associated with EfOM source waters. Solids retention time (SRT) affects the characteristics and amounts of SMP, however, SRT did not affect flux decline trends of RO and NF membranes.
This article was published in Environ Sci Technol
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques