Investigations of the effect of pore size of ceramic membranes on the pilot-scale removal of oil from oil-water emulsion

Abdullah Almojjly, Daniel Johnson, Nidal Hilal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oil-water emulsions are one of the most serious pollutants because of the large quantities produced by various industries, such as the petrochemical, oil and gas industries. One of the major methods to remove oil from wastewater is filtration using ceramic tubular microfiltration membranes. However, such membranes are vulnerable to fouling, which causes operational impairment. The aims of this work are to study the influence of membrane pore size on permeate flux and oil removal efficiency at different operating parameters and the reduction in fouling when used in combination with hybrid Coagulation/sand filter-MF pre-treatment process. The droplet size of the oil-water emulsion has an interaction with the pore size of the ceramic membrane. Therefore, each pore size may be optimal, depending upon the concentration of oil in the emulsion, and hence droplet size. Steady-state flux and oil removal efficiency were found to b highest for hybrid coagulation/sand filter –MF due to a reduction of membrane fouling by reducing the oil concentration in the inlet emulsion to the ceramic membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100868
JournalJournal of Water Process Engineering
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Ceramic membranes
  • Coagulation
  • Hybrid
  • Microfiltration
  • Oil removal efficiency
  • Pore size
  • Sand filter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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