Effect of cross-flow velocity, oil concentration and salinity on the critical flux of an oil-in-water emulsion in microfiltration


Filtration is one of the process of separation and it defined as the action or process of filtering something. The act or process of filtering, especially the process of passing a liquid or gas, such as air, through a filter in order to remove solid particles. In liquid filtration Journals, such as that applied in waste material treatment, a liquid can be pulled through the filter by attraction, as in the examples given. On the opposite hand, some sort of applied pressure, or a pressure differential created by the existence of a vacuum, can force the liquid through the filter. Gas filtration is employed in a common appliance, the vacuum cleaner, which passes a stream of dust-filled air through a filtering bag inside the machine. The bag traps solid particles, while allowing clean air to pass back out into the room. This is essentially the same principle applied in air filters and even air conditioning and heating systems, which, in addition to regulating temperature, also remove dust, pollen, and other impurities from the air.

Microfiltration is an attractive means for treating oily wastewater, especially when the sizes of the oil droplets are micrometer-sized since the conventional techniques become deficient. A systematic study on the critical flux of oil-in water emulsion, which behaves differently from other colloidal foulants concerning deformation, coalescence and splitting, has not been carried out to date. This was the goal of the current study, which employed the Direct Observation Through the Membrane (DOTM) technique to characterize the critical flux of oil-in-water emulsions of various concentrations, and at various crossflow velocities (CFV) and salt concentrations. Five observations can be highlighted here. Firstly, the oil droplets with a mean droplet diameter of approximately five μm exhibited critical fluxes equal to or greater than latex particles of 10 μm. This is likely due to the twin effects of membrane oleophobic promoting back-transport of the oil foulants from the membrane and the presence of a droplet size distribution with larger drops that can enhance the shear-induced diffusion of the average drops. Secondly, the critical flux values did not agree with the model that is valid for the size range the mean droplet diameter falls in, but instead agreed with the model adapted for smaller particulate foulants. Thirdly, the increase in the critical flux with CFV was more significant for the lower oil concentration. Fourthly, a striping phenomenon was observed at higher oil concentrations and lower CFV values. Striping was not observed for latex particles.

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