State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project Id: 2010PA124B
Title: Simultaneous Removal of Phosphorous and Organic Acids using Magnetic Ion Exchange Resin (MIEX) Treatment and Alum Prior to Micron Filtration
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2010
End Date: 2/28/2011
Congressional District: PA-005
Focus Categories: Wastewater
Keywords: Phosphorus, membrane filtration, wastewater reuse, magnetic ion exchange resin (MIEX)
Principal Investigators: Dempsey, Brian
Federal Funds: $ 17,482
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 35,518
Abstract: The main objective is to achieve removal of total phosphorus during wastewater treatment; it is proposed to accomplish this objective with reusable ion exchange resin, specifically the use of magnetic ion exchange resin (MIEX). It is also recognized (and supported within this proposal) that there is and will be increasing use of membrane filtration, especially microfiltration (MF) during final treatment of wastewater. Use of MF is limited by flux through the filters, which in turn is limited by fouling of the filters.

Therefore a secondary objective of this research is to use the same system to reduce fouling of polyvinylidine fluoride (PVDF) and polyether sulfone (PES) membranes, which are the most commonly used low-pressure membranes for water and wastewater treatment.

This proposal may be easier to understand if a chronology of our work is provided. We identified the components of wastewater effluent organic matter (EfOM) that result in fouling of low-pressure membranes (Kim and Dempsey, 2008). Subsequently, we have determined that MIEX is very effective in removing the 15-25% of EfOM that results in fouling. That work is very recent and unfunded (manuscript submitted to Water Science & Technology). During that study, we noticed that MIEX can remove phosphorus, but that organic acids in EfOM are preferentially removed. This led us to begin an investigation of ways to optimize removal of both EfOM and phosphorus, using lower doses of chemicals than currently used for these purposes and using an operational strategy that can be effectively transferred to existing wastewater treatment plants.

The proposed experiments will identify optimal strategies for robust removal of effluent P to <0.3 mg/L using commercial MIEX, commercial membranes, secondary effluent from the University Area Joint Authority (UAJA) wastewater treatment plant in State College, PA, and the innovative strategies that are outlined in this proposal.

Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF

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