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Roles of surfactants in pressure-driven membrane separation processes: a review

  • Lixiu Shi
  • Jinhui HuangEmail author
  • Guangming ZengEmail author
  • Lei Zhu
  • Yanling Gu
  • Yahui Shi
  • Kaixin Yi
  • Xue Li
Review Article
  • 46 Downloads

Abstract

Surfactants widely exist in various kinds of wastewaters which could be treated by pressure-driven membrane separation (PDMS) techniques. Due to the special characteristics of surfactants, they may affect the performance of membrane filtration. Over the last two decades, there are a number of studies on treating wastewaters containing surfactants by PDMS. The current paper gives a review of the roles of surfactants in PDMS processes. The effects of surfactants on membrane performance were discussed via two aspects: influence of surfactants on membrane fouling and enhanced removal of pollutants by surfactants. The characteristics of surfactants in solution and at solid–liquid interface were summarized. Surfactants in membrane filtration processes cause membrane fouling mainly through adsorption, concentration polarization, pore blocking, and cake formation, and fouling degree may be influenced by various factors (feed water composition, membrane properties, and operation conditions). Furthermore, surfactants may also have a positive effect on membrane performance. Enhanced removal of various kinds of pollutants by PDMS in the presence of surfactants has been summarized, and the removal mechanism has been revealed. Based on the current reports, further studies on membrane fouling caused by surfactants and enhanced removal of pollutants by surfactant-aided membrane filtration were also proposed.

Keywords

Surfactant Pressure-driven membrane filtration Membrane fouling Pollutant removal Concentration polarization 

Nomenclature

AFM

Atomic force microscope

CA

Cellulose acetate

CFD

Computational fluid dynamics

CMC

Critical micelle concentration

CPC

Cetyl pyridinium chloride

CTAB

Hexadecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide

EO

Ethylene oxide

MF

Microfiltration

MWCO

Molecular weight cutoff

NF

Nanofiltration

NP-9

Nonylphenol polyethylene glycol ether

ODA

Octadecylamine

PA

Polyamide

PAN

Polyacrylonitrile

PDMS

Pressure-driven membrane separation

PES

Polyether sulfone

PS

Polysulfone

PTFE

Polytetrafluoroethylene

PVDF

Polyvinylidene fluoride

RC

Regenerated cellulose

RIS

Resistance in series

RO

Reverse osmosis

UF

Ultrafiltration

SDS

Sodium dodecyl sulfate

SDBS

Sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate

SEM

Scanning electron microscope

TMP

Transmembrane pressure

Notes

Funding information

This study was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51578222, 51178172, 51521006, 51308076, and 51378190), the Project of Chinese Ministry of Education (113049A), the Research Fund for the Program for Chang jiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (IRT-13R17), and the Hunan Provincial Innovation Foundation for Postgraduate (Grant No. CX2015B092).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lixiu Shi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jinhui Huang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Guangming Zeng
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lei Zhu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yanling Gu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yahui Shi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kaixin Yi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xue Li
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringHunan UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control, Ministry of EducationHunan UniversityChangshaChina
  3. 3.Department of Bioengineering and Environmental ScienceChangsha UniversityChangshaChina

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