Hollow fiber dead-end ultrafiltration: Influence of ionic environment on filtration of alginates

W.J.C. van de Ven, K. van 't Sant, I.G.M. Punt, A. Zwijnenburg, A.J.B. Kemperman, W.G.J. van der Meer, M. Wessling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


We analyze the filterability of sodium alginate solutions in different ionic environments as a function of the operational flux. The alginates serve as a model component for polysaccharides in feed water. Next to filtration characteristics, the fouling reversibility was studied by employing strictly controlled filtration and backwash operation in a fully automated laboratory-scale filtration setup. In the absence of calcium ions, the filtration resistance is a strong function of the filtration flux showing higher values with increasing flux. The filtration resistance is fully reversible at low filtration flux, while slow irreversible fouling occurs at high flux. Increasing the ionic strength by the addition of KCl increases the filtration resistance: electro-static repulsion between the macromolecules decreases causing a denser gel to develop. With the addition of calcium, filtration resistance decreases, which is related to the formation of agglomerates and a permeable gel layer. However, the addition of calcium also leads to irreversible fouling and can, eventually, even plug the lumen of the capillaries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-229
JournalJournal of membrane science
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Sodium alginate
  • Dead-end ultrafiltration
  • Membrane fouling
  • Hollow fiber
  • Gel structure


Dive into the research topics of 'Hollow fiber dead-end ultrafiltration: Influence of ionic environment on filtration of alginates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this