The Use of Membranes in Olive Mill Wastewater Treatment: How to Control Dynamic Fouling?

Membrane fouling leads to increased expenses in the processes in which they are implemented, and this is especially problematic in wastewater treatments. Therefore, fouling minimization and control represents the key to make those processes feasible. In the present paper, a review on the results of fouling control by the critical and threshold flux theories, focusing on olive mill wastewater coming from Spain (OMW-S) and Italy (OMW-I), is briefly covered. In first place, adequate fouling inhibition methods should be designed upstream the membrane operation, in order to make the downstream membrane processes for wastewater treatment technically and economically feasible. The followed strategy allows the operation of the membranes system in a controlled framework that permits the stable operation of the plant. Moreover, the calculated membrane area upon the adoption of feed control (FC) resulted in a requirement for the OMW-S stream of 74.2 and 50.3 m2 for the UF and NF membranes, respectively, whilst 113.1 and 49.7 m2 would be required for the treatment of the OMW-I stream. This also minimizes the membrane plant design, avoiding the common over-dimension wrongly estimated by engineers in order to guarantee sufficient operating autonomy to conduct the process that makes it unfeasible


Ochando-Pulido JM

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