Membrane screening for humic substances removal

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36 Citations (Scopus)


To produce healthy drinking water is the main problem almost all over the world. The aim of this study is to find an efficient method to remove humic substances (HS) from water, because HS cause some types of cancer when they react with chlorine or other disinfection materials composing disinfection by-products, e.g. trihalomethans. Different membranes with a wide range of nominal molecular weight cut off (NMWCO), using different recycle flow rates and transmembrane pressures were investigated. The solutions were well-water with humic substances, model-solution with humic acid from Sigma-Aldrich GmbH and deionized water. The permeates and feeds in the case of model-solution and natural well-water were analyzed measuring the UV absorbance on 254 nanometer. Based on the experiments, it can be established that the membranes with NMWCO ≤2 kDa are suitable for the removal of humic substances. The UF membranes with NMWCO >2 kDa were proper for model-solutions, but in the case of natural well-water the HS content of the permeates was higher than the limit value (3.5 mg/L). The measured HS values showed a moderate increase with an increase in the NMWCO of the membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 10 2004


  • Disinfection by-products
  • Humic substances
  • Membrane filtration
  • Nanofiltration
  • Natural organic matter
  • Ultrafiltration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering

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