The study examined how dominant salts affect the removal of microplastics (MPs) through polyelectrolyte-based hollow fibre nanofiltration (NF) membranes, both experimentally and computationally. The results indicated that the removal of MPs was impacted by several factors, including the charge and type of the MP, the type of dominant salt, and the type of NF membrane used.
The presence of dominant salts affected the passage of charged MPs more than uncharged ones.
For example, atenolol shows a significantly lower passage in the presence of Na2SO4. A theoretical transport model (DSPM&DE) suggested that electrostatic coupling of ions and MPs affected the latter’s removal by NF membranes. These findings highlight the importance of understanding the ionic composition of the feed water in estimating MP removal during nanofiltration.
Rutten, S.B., M.A. Junker, L. Hernández Leal, W.M. de Vos, R.G.H. Lammertink, J. de Grooth. 2023. “Influence of Dominant Salts on the Removal of Trace Micropollutants by Hollow Fiber Nanofiltration Membranes.” Journal of Membrane Science 678 (121625). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.memsci.2023.121625