Nanofiltration of hormone mimicking trace organic contaminants
Nghiem, Long D.
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The removal mechanisms of three hormone mimicking organic compounds by nanofiltration (NF) membranes have been examined. Two NF membranes having different pore size were used in laboratory-scale nanofiltration experiments with feed solutions spiked with a hormone mimicking compound ¾ nonylphenol, tert-butyl phenol, or bisphenol A. Retention of the compounds was determined at various solution chemistries, namely aqueous solution pH, ionic strength, and presence of natural organic matter. The nanofiltration behavior of the selected hormone mimicking compounds appears similar to that of natural hormones as reported in our previous work. While the solution pH can dramatically influence the retention of hormone mimicking compounds by a loose NF membrane, ionic strength does not affect the nanofiltration of such contaminants. However, in the presence of natural organic matter in the feed solution, ionic strength appears to play a significant role in solute-solute and solute-membrane interactions, resulting in increased retention due to partitioning of the hormone mimicking compounds onto organic matter at a higher ionic strength.