Oil droplets of produced water streams foul the microfiltration and ultrafiltration membranes that aim to remove these impurities. There is poor understanding of the qualitative effects of parameters like cake layer thickness and salinity on how fast the water flows through different membranes.
Now, Wetsus, UTwente and University of Oxford experts have designed and validated a new model that takes the dynamic morphology of the droplets into account in de erosion and formation of pore-blocking cake layers. These new conceptual advances in the field of colloid and interface science open new pathways for membrane fouling understanding, prevention, and control.
Virga, E., Field, R. W., Biesheuvel, P. M.,&; de Vos, W. M. (2022). Theory of oil fouling for microfiltration and ultrafiltration membranes in produced water treatment. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2022.04.039