Using loose nanofiltration membrane for lake water treatment: A pilot study

Danyang Liu, Johny Cabrera, Lijuan Zhong, Wenjing Wang, Dingyuan Duan, Xiaomao Wang, Shuming Liu, Yuefeng F. Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Nanofiltration (NF) using loose membranes has a high application potential for advanced treatment of drinking water by selectively removing contaminants from the water, while membrane fouling remains one of the biggest problems of the process. This paper reported a seven-month pilot study of using a loose NF membrane to treat a sand filtration effluent which had a relatively high turbidity (∼0.4 NTU) and high concentrations of organic matter (up to 5 mg/L as TOC), hardness and sulfate. Results showed that the membrane demonstrated a high rejection of TOC (by<90%) and a moderately high rejection of two pesticides (54%–82%) while a moderate rejection of both calcium and magnesium (∼45%) and a low rejection of total dissolved solids (∼27%). The membrane elements suffered from severe membrane fouling, with the membrane permeance decreased by 70% after 85 days operation. The membrane fouling was dominated by organic fouling, while biological fouling was moderate. Inorganic fouling was mainly caused by deposition of aluminum-bearing substances. Though inorganic foulants were minor contents on membrane, their contribution to overall membrane fouling was substantial. Membrane fouling was not uniform on membrane. While contents of organic and inorganic foulants were the highest at the inlet and outlet region, respectively, the severity of membrane fouling increased from the inlet to the outlet region of membrane element with a difference higher than 30%. While alkaline cleaning was not effective in removing the membrane foulants, the use of ethylenediamine tetraacetate (EDTA) at alkaline conditions could effectively restore the membrane permeance. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number69
JournalFrontiers of Environmental Science and Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Using loose nanofiltration membrane for lake water treatment: A pilot study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this