Applied Environmental Research

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Effects of solution pH and ionic strength for removal of combined natural organic matter (NOM) and copper (II) through a nanofiltration (NF) membrane were investigated. Experimental results revealed that the influence of NOM and copper (II) ion on NF performance was dependent on solution chemistry (i.e. solution pH and ionic strength). For copper (II) ion, increased solution pHs exhibited greater flux decline, while there was no significant difference in flux for solutions containing NOM. Solutions containing copper (II) ion alone showed less flux decline than those containing NOM and combined NOM with copper (II ) ions. The ion rejections (based on copper and conductivity For combined NOM and copper (II ) ion, the rejections of copper ion tended to increase, thus enhancing NOM-copper accumulation at the membrane surface. Increased ionic strength increased both solution flux decline and non-recoverable fouling resistance after system cleaning. A FT-IR spectroscope was successfully used to investigate the binding between NOM and the membrane surface, thus enhancing non-recoverable resistance.

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