The membrane fouling characteristics of natural organic matter (NOM) were assessed using single polypropylene hollow fibre membranes of pore size 0.2 μm. The membranes were liquid backwashed every 30 minutes and filtration runs of up to 48 hours (≤8 litres) were conducted. The NOM samples were fractionated into different chemical classes based on their adsorption properties. For the two waters investigated, the hydrophobic components were the major foulant for one water, and the hydrophilics were the major foulant for the other. Interaction between the strongly hydrophobic and weakly hydrophobic fractions was significant for one water, but the extent of interaction between these fractions was minor for the other. The long term membrane fouling characteristics could not always be deduced from short term fouling trials.

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