School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430074, China; Key Laboratory of Water and Wastewater Treatment (HUST), MOHURD, Wuhan, 430074, China; Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEINT), Duke University, Durham, 27708-0287, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
In this study, ultraviolet based advanced oxidation processes (UV-AOPs) including UV/persulfate (UV/PS), UV/chlorine, and UV/H2O2 were employed to alleviate ultrafiltration membrane fouling during the treatment of algae-laden water. The results show that UV/PS pretreatment exhibited the best performance on fouling control, followed by the UV/H2O2 pretreatment. The fouling mitigation performance improved with the increase of oxidant dose. However, UV/chlorine pretreatment aggravated membrane fouling, and the irreversible fouling resistance increased by five times compared with that of raw water. The dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the algae-laden solution was reduced after UV/PS pretreatment, while either UV/chlorine or UV/H2O2 pretreatment had little influence on the DOC of feed water. UV/PS and UV/H2O2 pretreatments were effective in the degradation of fluorescent compounds, thus reducing the deposition of organic matter on the membrane surface. Additionally, the decreased concentration of hydrophobic organics, algal cells, and debris in feed water after UV/PS pretreatment was also contributed to the fouling alleviation. The aggravated irreversible fouling after UV/chlorine pretreatment was probably ascribed to the increased accumulation of hydrophobic fractions in the membrane pores. Modeling result indicates that membrane fouling during the filtration of raw algae-laden water was dominated by intermediate blocking and cake filtration mechanisms. Both UV/PS and UV/H2O2 pretreatments transformed the combined fouling mechanism into standard blocking, while UV/chlorine pretreatment aggravated the pore blocking in the initial filtration period.