This paper describes the prediction of flux behavior in an ultrafiltration (UF) membrane system using a Kalman neuro training (KNT) network model. The experimental data was obtained from operating a pilot plant of hollow fiber UF membrane with groundwater for 7 months. The network was trained using operating conditions such as inlet pressure, filtration duration, and feed water quality parameters including turbidity, temperature and UV254. Pre-processing of raw data allowed the normalized input data to be used in sigmoid activation functions. A neural network architecture was structured by modifying the number of hidden layers, neurons and learning iterations.

The structure of KNT-neural network with 3 layers and 5 neurons allowed a good prediction of permeate flux by 0.997 of correlation coefficient during the learning phase. Also the validity of the designed model was evaluated with other experimental data not used during the training phase and nonlinear flux behavior was accurately estimated with 0.999 of correlation coefficient and a lower error of prediction in the testing phase.

This good flux prediction can provide preliminary criteria in membrane design and set up the proper cleaning cycle in membrane operation. The KNT-artificial neural network is also expected to predict the variation of transmembrane pressure during filtration cycles and can be applied to automation and control of full scale treatment plants.

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