This paper focused on the effects of powdered activated carbon (PAC) dosage on ultrafiltration (UF) membrane flux caused by natural organic matter (NOM). Three model foulants, humic acid (HA), bovine serum albumin (BSA) and sodium alginate (SA), were adopted to represent different NOM fractions in secondary effluent treated by the combined process of PAC-UF. Moreover, the membrane fouling resistance and fouling mechanism were also analyzed. The results indicated that the best PAC dosage for the membrane flux variation was 20 mg/L for HA and SA, and 10 mg/L for BSA. SA caused the most serious membrane fouling, which was mainly reversible fouling. The membrane fouling caused by HA and BSA was mainly irreversible membrane fouling. The membrane fouling caused by organics happened mainly at the initial stage of filtration. Because the filter cake layer formed by a moderate amount of PAC could intercept organics, the membrane fouling, especially the irreversible fouling, could be reduced.

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