Retention of micropollutants by polyelectrolyte multilayer based hollow fiber nanofiltration membranes under fouled conditions

S.B. Rutten*, V.L. Levering, L. Hernández Leal, J. de Grooth, H.D.W. Roesink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


To meet the increasing global water demand, local solutions, such as the reuse of greywater, are becoming of greater importance. While greywater reclamation has been implemented, full-scale adaptation has been limited by the occurrence of micropollutants in treated greywater effluent. To reduce the risks posed by micropollutants, advanced post-treatment is required. One promising technology is the implementation of hollow fiber nanofiltration, which has proven to effectively remove micropollutants. However, the effect of fouling on the overall membrane performance has received limited attention. In this research, the effect of fouling on the performance of polyelectrolyte multilayer nanofiltration membranes was evaluated. Filtration experiments were performed using hollow fiber nanofiltration membranes using model solutions and greywater effluent. Synthetic greywater effluent with different model foulants was implemented to simulate bio- and colloidal fouling. Afterwards, the fouling propensity of greywater effluent from a source-separated treatment plant was evaluated. The performed experiments demonstrated that the studied hollow fiber nanofiltration membranes are mainly sensitive to biofouling. Permeability loss was observed in all foulant experiments, and overall, sodium alginate most severely reduced the flux. Regardless of the loss in permeability, micropollutant retention remained relatively constant, demonstrating the potential suitability of hollow fiber nanofiltration membranes in greywater reclamation schemes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103760
JournalJournal of Water Process Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


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