2D fractal dimension analysis of inline-coagulation (IC) flocs in microfiltration of NOM using power-law relationship and box-counting was done. Different process conditions represented by two types of coagulants (PIX and PAX) at four different hydraulic gradients (G-values of 4, 31, 98, and 300 s?1) were tested. Fractal dimensions of the flocs formed under the varying process conditions were found to be different. Overall NOM removal was found to be similar for all cases; however, the membrane filtration and fouling phenomenon observed were affected by the process conditions. This study has investigated the relationships between fractal dimensions, aggregate properties, and membrane fouling behavior observed. In general, PIX resulted in higher particle concentrations and the more irregular floc shapes resulted in high irreversible fouling, lower specific cake resistance, and a more compressible cake layer. In contrast, PAX resulted in lower particle concentrations and the more regular floc shapes resulted in a more reversible fouling, higher specific cake resistance and a less compressible cake layer. The fractal dimensions properties were found to be complementary for the analysis of membrane and cake resistances and can be useful tools in membrane fouling elucidation and minimization.
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