Indexed on: 02 May '17Published on: 02 May '17Published in: Chemosphere
The treatment and reuse of rendering plant wastewater with membrane processes is a poorly investigated area that could result in substantial water savings. Membrane fouling is still the main obstacle when treating secondary effluents (SEs) with high content of effluent organic matter (EfOM). Thus, the optimization of coagulation with ferric(III) chloride (FeCl3) as a pretreatment for nanofiltration was performed to reduce membrane fouling and achieve higher permeate quality. Coagulation was modeled (total carbon, inorganic carbon, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), turbidity, conductivity, and resulting pH) and optimized with response surface methodology (RSM) to remove DOC and turbidity with a pH close to neutral. The effluent after coagulation at optimal conditions (5.58 pH and 26.38 mg L(-1) of Fe(3+)) and sand filtration (SF) was subjected to nanofiltration (NF270, NF, and NF90 membranes). The fouling was compared to evaluate the efficiency of each pretreatment. Coagulation with FeCl3 reduced the flux decline of nanofiltration membranes 4.2 to 19.3 times while SF barely reduced the fouling. Coagulation increased the flux recovery and chemical cleanliness after the membrane washing. In addition to fouling reduction, higher permeate quality was achieved.