A nonionic surfactant, polyoxyethylene Octyl phenyl ether (Triton-X), is added to a micellar-enhanced ultrafiltration process to lower the critical micellar concentration (CMC) of an anionic surfactant, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). The effects of adding Triton-X on the copper removal efficiency, the permeate SDS concentration, the copper binding capacity of SDS micelles, and membrane fouling are investigated.
Our results show that the addition of Triton-X at concentrations greater than its CMC can reduce the SDS dosage required for effective Cu removal, and at the same time, minimize the permeate SDS concentration. Although, no adverse effect on the copper binding capacity of SDS micelle is observed by the addition of Triton-X, the membrane fouling is worsen. Cleaning the membrane with DI water allowed restoring the membrane flux, indicating that the fouling caused by Triton-X was reversible.