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Integrated Membranes for toxin control

Project Number # 1003

Evaluation of Integrated Membranes for Tastes and Odours and Algal Toxin Control (AwwaRF 4016)

Project Leader:  Gayle Newcombe Newcombe

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This project evaluated ultrafiltration (UF), nanofiltration (NF) and reverseosmosis (RO) membranes, in integrated treatment systems, for the removal of taste and odour compounds and cyanobacterial toxins.

Background and Relevance
The major objectives of this study were to identify optimum conditions for:

  • The removal of extracellular MIB, GSM, CYN and the major microcystin analogues by NF membranes
  • The removal of intact cyanobacterial cells during IMS treatment. And to:
  • Develop an ultrafiltration integrated membrane system (UF-IMS) ideally suited to the removal of cyanobacteria and their metabolites.
  • Minimise extent of cell lysis during UF-IMS treatment

Research Approach
The overall objective of this project was to determine the most effective IMS for the treatment of source water subject to a range of cyanobacterial contamination. Specific objectives based on the issues addressed were to:

  • Determine the parameters controlling the effectiveness of NF and RO membranes for the retention of MIB, GSM, CYN and the most common microcystin analogues
  • Develop an UF-IMS ideally suited to the removal of extracellular cyanobacterial metabolites
  • Determine the most effective treatment within an IMS for the removal of cyanobacterial cells
  • Determine the extent of intracellular metabolite leakage expected from cyanobacterial cells during treatments such as UF or coagulation
  • Identify the most effective IMS for the treatment of cyanobacteria and/or extracellular metabolites

This project evaluated ultra filtration (UF), nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membranes, in integrated treatment systems, for the removal of taste and odour compounds and cyanobacterial toxins.

The outcomes of the project were:

  • Determine the parameters controlling the effectiveness of NF and RO membranes for the retention of MIB, geosmin, cylindrospermopsin and the most common microcystin variants
  • Develop a surrogate test to confirm the efficacy of these membranes
  • Develop an UF-IMS ideally suited to the removal of dissolved cyanobacterial metabolites
  • Determine the most effective treatment within an IMS for the removal of cyanobacteria cells
  • Determine the extent of intracellular metabolite leakage expected from cyanobacteria cells during treatments such as MF or coagulation
  • Identify the most effective IMS for the treatment of cyanobacteria and/or dissolved metabolites

Project Documents