화학공학소재연구정보센터
Separation and Purification Technology, Vol.212, 215-222, 2019
Impact of combined oil-in-water emulsions and particulate suspensions on ceramic membrane fouling and permeability recovery
The application of crossflow ceramic microfiltration (CFCMF) to the removal of emulsified oil from a simple analogue of raw produced water (PW) arising from oil exploration has been studied. Outcomes relate to surfactant-stabilised oil-in-water (o/w) emulsions both as a discrete emulsion and in combination with a colloidal suspension of particulate solids (bentonite). The impact on both fouling during the filtration cycle and residual fouling of the ZrO2-TiO2 membrane, following aggressive caustic-acid chemical cleaning applied between six sequential 30-min filtration runs, was investigated. Results showed the addition of suspended solids to the o/w emulsion to be extremely deleterious to sustaining both the permeability and selectivity of the membrane. The addition of 1500 mg.L-1 of bentonite to a 10 vol.% emulsion resulted in a permeability decrease of 3.5-5 times over that recorded for the emulsion, and 8-36 times lower than that of the bentonite suspension. Oil passage through the microfiltration membrane (0.45 mu m pore size) was concomitantly increased six-fold. Tests performed to assess the cleanability of the membrane demonstrated similar differences between the three feed liquids. The permanent fouling of the membrane by the combined emulsion/suspension reduced its permeability by a factor of 16 over that attained for the emulsion-fouled membrane, or 25 times less than the residual permeability of the membrane challenged with the suspended particles. Moreover, the residual permeability of the emulsion/suspension-fouled membrane was still in decline following the sixth run. The results emphasise the importance of considering possible particle-emulsion interactions in studying membrane filtration of PW analogues.