The application of membrane filtration for the polishing of wastewater treatment plant (wwtp) effluent is more and more widely used. However, fouling problems are still not well understood. In order to investigate the role of particles in dead-end ultrafiltration of wwtp-effluent, Roorda studied the influence of pre-filtrated wwtp-effluent on the filterability. In addition this research investigates the relation between the filterability of the different fractions in the wwtp-effluent and the amount of organic foulants in these fractions. The results show a relation between the filterability and supra-dissolved particles in the fractions <0.45 and <0.2 μm. The amount of COD, colour, proteins and polysaccharides in these fractions are found of minor importance. A significant increase in filterability is found between the fractions <0.2 and <0.1 μm as well as a significant decrease in amount of polysaccharides. It is suggested that an essential feature in understanding membrane fouling during ultrafiltration of wwtp-effluent is to investigate the influence of supra-dissolved particles on the filterability as well as the influence of the amount of organic foulants (total organic carbon, proteins, polysaccharides, colour and humic substances) on the reversibility.

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