Fouling and cleaning of ultrafiltration membranes: A review

Xiafu Shi, Galit Tal, Nicholas P. Hankins, Vitaly Gitis

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    642 Scopus citations


    Ultrafiltration (UF) is one of the best options for both one-stage and as part of multi-stage water and wastewater purification. This review summarises the known facts about the fouling processes and cleaning procedures and details of the most successful physical and chemical cleaning combinations. The optimum cleaning is closely linked to the nature of the fouling. Precise knowledge of both the fouling type (organic, inorganic, or biological) and the fouling mechanism (gel formation, adsorption, deposition, pore blockage, or cake formation) is the key to success in UF membrane cleaning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)121-138
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Water Process Engineering
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


    • Chemical cleaning
    • Membrane cleaning
    • Membrane degradation
    • Membrane fouling
    • Membrane integrity
    • Physical cleaning

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biotechnology
    • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
    • Waste Management and Disposal
    • Process Chemistry and Technology


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