This study describes an approach for surface modification of a nonwoven membrane by diatomite/iron oxide to examine its filterability. Analysis results showed that nonwoven hydrophilicity is enhanced. Static contact angle decreases dramatically from 122.66° to 39.33°. Scanning electron micrograph images show that diatomite/iron oxide is attached on nonwoven fiber. X-ray diffraction analysis further proves that the compound is mostly magnetite. Fourier transformed infrared spectra results reveal that two new absorption peaks might be attributed to SiO and FeO, respectively. Modified and original membranes were used in double nonwoven membrane bioreactors (MBRs) for synthetic wastewater treatment. High critical flux, long filtration time, slow trans-membrane pressure rise and stable sludge volume index confirmed the advantages of modified nonwoven. Comparing with original nonwoven, similar effluent qualities are achieved, meeting the requirements for wastewater reclamation.

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