Description of membrane fouling characteristics during ultrafiltration of organic foulants contained in sweetwater solutions

Indok Nurul Hasyimah Mohd Amin, Abdul Wahab Mohammad, Nidal Hilal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


The characterization and the filtration behavior of commercial ultrafiltration (UF) membranes used in the removal of triglycerides (TG) and combined mixtures (TG-fatty acid) from glycerol-water solution were examined. Flat sheet ultrafiltration (UF) polyethersulfone and polyvinylidenfluoride membranes were used for comparison. Glycerol-water solutions were synthesized as feed and the influences of membrane surface chemistry and pH solutions were studied. Fouling behavior of TG and TG-FA were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier transform spectroscopy (FTIR), contact angle and surface energy measurement. Results from this work reveal that hydrophobic surfaces are more prone to TG and FA deposition than less hydrophobic surfaces in glycerol-water mixture. SEM morphologies and cross structure as well as FTIR spectrums revealed that the membranes were severely fouled with TG (oil droplets) instead of TG-FA. Further, contact angle measurements obtained in this work showed that the angles tended to decrease with oil wetted material and in acidic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1251
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • Fouling
  • Interfacial behavior
  • Triglyceride
  • Ultrafiltration
  • Wettability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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