Biological aerated filter (BAF), sand filtration (SF), alum and Moringa oleifera coagulation were investigated as a pre-treatment for reducing the organic and biofouling potential component of an ultrafiltration (UF) membrane in the treatment of lake water. The carbohydrate content was mainly responsible for reversible fouling of the UF membrane compared to protein or dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content. All pre-treatment could effectively reduce these contents and led to improve the UF filterability. Both BAF and SF markedly led to improvement in flux than coagulation processes, and alum gave greater flux than M. oleifera. This was attributed to the effective removal and/or breakdown of high molecular weight (MW) organics by biofilters. BAF led to greater improvement in flux than SF, due to greater breakdown of high MW organics, and this was also confirmed by the attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis. Coagulation processes were ineffective in removing biofouling potential components, whereas both biofilters were very effective as shown by the reduction of low MW organics, biodegradable dissolved organic carbon and assimilable organic carbon contents. This study demonstrated the potential of biological pre-treatments for reducing organic and biofouling potential component and thus improving flux for the UF of lake water treatment.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.