Bench-scale experiments were conducted to investigate the application of ozonation pre-treatment for biologically treated textile and dyeing wastewater to improve performance of the RO process. Based on ozonation experiments, four specific ozone consumptions (SOC), 0, 0.3, 0.6, 4.0 mg O3/mg DOC0 were chosen for study of the effects of ozonation on the reverse osmosis (RO) process. Membrane flux was recorded. Also, the permeate water quality parameters such as TOC, conductivity were analyzed. In addition, fouled membrane cleaning was studied. The study further examined the nature and mechanisms of membrane fouling using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS). The effect of ozonation on RO filtration was found to depend on SOC. The study revealed that significant improvement can be achieved in the efficiency of RO filtration by employing ozonation with 0.6 mg O3/mg DOC0 SOC. Although the product water purity slightly decreased, the ozonation pre-treatment showed advantages at 0.6 mg O3/mg DOC0 SOC for the following: (i) mitigation of flux decline due to membrane fouling; (ii) improvement in foulants cleanability. In addition, hypotheses were put forward to explain the reasons from the aspect of organic matter characteristics changed by ozonation, such as changing on functional groups and molecular weight of organic matter.

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