This study investigated the performance of a hybrid membrane filtration system to produce industrial water from highly-colored surface water. The system consists of a membrane filtration process with appropriate pretreatments, including coagulation, pre-chlorination, and anion exchange (IE) process. The results of the pilot-scale experiments revealed that the hybrid system can produce treated water with color of around 5 Pt-Co, dissolved manganese concentration of no more than 0.05 mg/L, and a silt density index (SDI) of no more than 5 when sufficient coagulant and sodium hypochlorite were dosed. Although the IE process effectively reduced the color of the water, a moderate increase in the color of the IE effluent was observed when there was a significant increase in the color of the raw water. This resulted in a severe membrane fouling, which was likely to be attributed to the excess production of inorganic sludge associated with the increased coagulant dosage required to achieve sufficient reduction of color. Such severe membrane fouling can be controlled by optimising the backwashing and relaxation frequencies during the membrane filtration. These results indicate that the hybrid system proposed is a suitable technology for treating highly-colored surface water.

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