Ozonation and/or Coagulation - Ceramic Membrane Hybrid for Filtration of Impaired-Quality Source Waters

  • Changwon Ha

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


When microfiltration (MF) and ultrafiltration (UF) membranes are applied for drinking water treatment/wastewater reuse, membrane fouling is an evitable problem, causing the loss of productivity over time. Polymeric membranes have been often reported to experience rapid and/or problematical fouling, restraining sustainable operation. Ceramic membranes can be effectively employed to treat impaired-quality source waters due to their inherent robustness in terms of physical and chemical stability. This research aimed to identify the effects of coagulation and/or ozonation on ceramic membrane filtration for seawater and wastewater (WW) effluent. Two different types of MF and UF ceramic membranes obtained by sintering (i.e., TAMI made of TiO2+ZrO2) and anodic oxidation process (i.e., AAO made of Al2O3) were employed for bench-scale tests. Precoagulation was shown to play an important role in both enhancing membrane filterability and natural organic matter (NOM) removal efficacy for treating a highorganic surface water. The most critical factors were found to be pH and coagulant dosage with the highest efficiency resulting under low pH and high coagulant dose. Due to the ozone-resistance nature of the ceramic membranes, preozonation allowed the ceramic membranes to be operated at higher flux, especially leading to significant flux improvement when treating seawater in the presence of calcium and magnesium. 4 Dissolved ozone in contact with the TAMI ceramic membrane surface accelerated the formation of hydroxyl (˙OH) radicals in WW effluent treatment. Flux restoration of both ceramic membranes, fouled with seawater and WW effluent, was efficiently achieved by high backwash (BW) pressure and ozone in chemically enhanced backwashing (CEB). Ceramic membranes exhibited a pH-dependent permeate flux while filtering WW effluent, showing reduced fouling with increased pH. On the other hand, for filtering seawater, differences in permeate flux between the two membranes was observed under basic pH conditions, showing that the TAMI membrane flux was stable regardless of changes in pH, while the AAO membrane flux was significantly decreased as pH increased to 10. Consequently, it is expected that ozone and/or coagulation prior to ceramic membrane filtration can play a significant role in treating impaired-quality source waters (e.g., seawater and WW effluent), leading to maintaining sustainable membrane flux in seawater pretreatment before reverse osmosis (RO) or water reuse applications.
Date of AwardSep 2013
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorGary Amy (Supervisor)


  • drinking water
  • ceramic membrane
  • ozonation
  • coagulation
  • natural organic matter
  • water reuse
  • NOM
  • precoagulation

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