Find Paper, Faster
Example:10.1021/acsami.1c06204 or Chem. Rev., 2007, 107, 2411-2502
Interaction between humic acid and silica in reverse osmosis membrane fouling process: A spectroscopic and molecular dynamics insight
Water Research  (IF11.236),  Pub Date : 2021-10-15, DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2021.117773
Danyang Li, Weichen Lin, Ruipeng Shao, Yue-Xiao Shen, Xianzheng Zhu, Xia Huang

Combined organic and inorganic fouling is a primary barrier constraining the performance of reverse osmosis (RO) membrane. In this work, we conducted a systematic study focusing on the synergetic fouling effects of silica and humic acid (HA) in RO process, and found the critical silica concentration where the fouling pattern changed qualitatively. When the silica concentration was lower than 6 mM at a typical HA concentration of 50 mg·L−1, no severe fouling was observed, while silica reaching this critical point could cause severe synergetic fouling with HA. Concentrated silica above the critical point acted as the prior foulant with marginal fouling effect caused by HA. A variety of solutions and surface-based characterizations were performed to elucidate the synergistic fouling responsibility for silica and HA. Our study suggests that the carboxylic groups from HA formed hydrogen bonds with silica hydrate, inducing silica adsorption onto HA aggregates at low silica particle concentrations. The HA network was bridged together to form large foulants due to the silica-silica interaction above the silica critical concentration. These mechanisms were further confirmed by molecular dynamics simulations. This study provides an in-depth insight into the combined organic-inorganic fouling and can serve as a guideline to optimize feed conditions in order to mitigate fouling of RO in wastewater reusing industry.