Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 19, pp 18979–18992 | Cite as

Application of direct contact membrane distillation for saline dairy effluent treatment: performance and fouling analysis

  • Sana Abdelkader
  • Florian Gross
  • Daniel Winter
  • Joachim Went
  • Joachim Koschikowski
  • Sven Uwe Geissen
  • Latifa BousselmiEmail author
Advanced Oxidation Process for Sustainable Water Management


Membrane distillation is getting increasing attention thanks to its advantages in terms of energy consumption and final permeate quality in addition to its resistance against highly corrosive media which forms an appealing solution for industrial wastewater treatment. Despite its advantages, one of the most challenging issues in direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) is membrane fouling and wetting. In the present research work, saline dairy effluent discharged from hard cheese industry was pretreated by macrofiltration (MAF) and ultrafiltration (UF) and processed by DCMD to investigate the extent of the aforementioned issues. Effluents pretreated by UF have led the best process performance with stable flux values at different operating conditions. Fouling has occurred in all the experiments, though their effect on the flux behavior and membrane wetting was different from one feed to the other. Changing the flow rate and the temperature difference have affected slightly the membrane wettability for all feed qualities. In all experiments, the permeate has maintained a good quality with low electrical conductivity that did not exceed 70 μS/cm and low total organic carbon < 2 mg/L.


Direct contact membrane distillation Saline dairy effluent Macrofiltration Ultrafiltration Permeate flux Membrane fouling 



contact angle


direct contact membrane distillation


energy dispersive X-ray


liquid entry pressure




pretreated effluent by macrofiltration and ultrafiltration


pretreated effluent by macrofiltration






raw effluent


scanning electron microscopy


total organic carbon





temperature difference


thermal efficiency


permeate outlet temperature


feed inlet temperature


permeate velocity


feed velocity



This research was supported by a fellowship grant received by Ms. Sana Abdelkader in the frame of the program “Bourse d’Alternance” provided by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Tunisia.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sana Abdelkader
    • 1
    • 2
  • Florian Gross
    • 3
  • Daniel Winter
    • 3
  • Joachim Went
    • 3
  • Joachim Koschikowski
    • 3
  • Sven Uwe Geissen
    • 2
  • Latifa Bousselmi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Center for Water Research and Technologies (CERTE)SolimanTunisia
  2. 2.Technische Universitaet Berlin (TU Berlin)BerlinGermany
  3. 3.Fraunhofer ISEFreiburgGermany

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