Wastewater reclamation is where wastewater from various sources is purified so the water can be used by human consumption. Among many treatment options, membranes have gained an important place in wastewater reclamation. It allows the production of high quality water from wastewater, with a small footprint and affordable energy consumption. Nevertheless, membrane fouling is regarded as a serious problem due to the high fouling potential of wastewater. In this study, we applied ultraviolet (UV) processes as a pretreatment for membrane systems that are used for wastewater reclamation. Low pressure UV (LUV) and pulsed UV (PUV) were used to decompose or alter the organics in the feed water of the membranes. Effluent organic matter was characterized by total organic carbon (TOC) and UV absorbance (UVA). Also the effect of UV pretreatment on membrane fouling was investigated for microfiltration (MF) and reverse osmosis (RO) processes. The pretreatment of membranes using LUV or PUV was effective to control fouling of hollow fiber MF membranes. This is probably because of the reduction and modification of organics after UV treatments. However, the effect of UV pretreatment on RO flux was less significant, which is attributed to low fouling prophecy after MF treatment.

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