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Influence of Membrane Fouling on Emerging Organic Contaminant Boundary-Layer Mass transfer During High-Pressure Membrane Treatment
Mentor: Dr. Christopher Bellona
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Unregulated or emerging organic contaminants (e.g., pharmaceuticals, endocrine disruptors) have received considerable recent attention due to widespread low-level contamination of surface waters and uncertainty regarding human and ecological health impacts. Recent studies have also reported the occurrence of several of these chemicals in finished municipal drinking water throughout the US. There is a need to develop technologies that can effectively treat broad groups of regulated and unregulated contaminants. Researchers at Clarkson University are developing an advanced treatment technology by integrating ceramic membrane filtration with advanced oxidation by high voltage electrical discharge (i.e., plasma). Currently, the research team is developing a liquid plasma reactor for the degradation of organic contaminants in aqueous solutions. The objective of this research project is to integrate the liquid plasma reactor with a bench-scale ceramic filtration system and evaluate treatment efficiency related to particle, bulk organic carbon, and organic contaminant removal. The integrated membrane/plasma reactor will be evaluated with several different membrane types (e.g., MF, UF, NF) and feed water qualities to simulate different treatment scenarios. Water quality will be evaluated with standardized methods including turbidity, total and dissolved organic carbon, UVA and SUVA. The removal of a suite of organic contaminants will also be assessed. Preliminarily, tests will be conducted with Raquette River water (high NOM concentrations) and secondary treated wastewater effluent.