The efficacy of ultrafiltration (UF) and microfiltration (MF) membranes was assessed for the concentration of actual waterworks sludges using crossflow tubular membranes operated at constant trans-membrane pressure. The MF membrane gave higher initial fluxes than the UF membrane but after 10 min of filtration the flux value and its decline tended to be very similar for both membranes operating under the same conditions. All membranes gave permeate product water of <0.2 NTU and <100ppb coagulant at all times. For both membranes mechanical cleaning, with sponge balls, was at least as effective as acid chemical cleaning, indicating that no significant permanent internal fouling occurred for these membrane materials. Hydraulic resistance data indicated a significant difference in the dynamic layer resistance between the two membranes. Whilst the UF membrane had a hydraulic resistance 3.7 times that of the MF membrane, the dynamic layer formed on the UF membrane during operation displayed a maximum hydraulic resistance almost nine times lower than that of the MF membrane operating under the same conditions. Correlation of cake resistance R versus feed solids concentration C for all the data generated for t>0 demonstrated reasonable agreement with the expression Rca where a=0.37 in the current study. This trend has been recorded in previous reported studies, a varying between 0.33 and 0.62 depending on sludge dewaterability.

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