Surging growth of aquaculture industry has alarmed the public when the wastewater discharged had an adverse effect on the environment. This current study is a pioneer in the use of membrane distillation (MD) to treat real aquaculture wastewater. In addition to excellent hydrophobicity, the slippery surface of membrane used for MD is another key factor that enhances the performance of MD. The slippery surface of the membrane was tuned by layering high-viscosity and low-viscosity polypropylene (PP) polymers on the electrospun membrane by solvent-exchanged method. While the high-viscosity PP coating (PP/HV) rendered the membrane surface slippery, the low-viscosity PP coating (PP/LV) caused the fish farm wastewater to have stick-slip movement on the membrane surface. In the long-term 70-hour direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) separation, PP/HV and PP/LV membranes can perfectly eliminate the undesirable components in the fish farm wastewater. The PP/HV membrane has registered a flux of 19.1 kg/m2·h, while the flux of PP/LV membrane was only 7.3 kg/m2·h. The PP/HV membrane also showed excellent anti-scaling properties in relative to the PP/LV membrane. This is because the PP/HV membrane promotes effortless gliding of the feed water along the surface of the membrane, while the surface of the PP/LV membrane has a static water boundary. Therefore, it can be concluded that the application of MD using the membrane coated with high-viscosity PP polymer is a feasible technology for the treatment of aquaculture wastewater.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.