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Intermittent Ultrasound-Assisted Ceramic Membrane Fouling Control in Ultrafiltration

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posted on 24.05.2021, 12:18 by Kyu Min Lee, Farhad Ein-Mozaffari
Ultrafiltration is one of the most promising membrane technologies for liquid purification due to its high economic efficiency in the industries. However, it has been faced with a critical problem, called fouling. The contaminants in feed solution tend to accumulate on the membrane surface, hindering permeate solution to pass through the porous spaces. Among the various solutions, application of ultrasound has been considered as the most popular method since it does not suffer a disadvantage of downtime and the filtration process does not need to be stopped for the removal of foulants. In this study, control of ceramic membrane fouling by an on-line intermittent ultrasound system was being investigated. The experiment focused on obtaining optimal operating ultrasonic condition. Frequency (20, 28, and 40 kHz), power intensity (1.44, 2.88, and 5.76W/cm2 ), and time interval of intermittent ultrasound (1, 1.5, and 2 minutes) were the parameters of interest. The effect of feed concentration was also analyzed at optimal ultrasonic condition. The quality and flow rate of the permeate streams were monitored for the evaluation of the process performance. The optimal condition of intermittent ultrasound was found at the frequency of 28 kHz and the power intensity of 2.88 W/cm2 ; and then, the application of intermittent ultrasound with short time interval successfully reduced the operating cost of ultrafiltration process while maintaining acceptable quality and flow rate of permeate solution. There was increase in efficiency of intermittent ultrasound at lower feed concentration.





Master of Applied Science


Chemical Engineering

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


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