Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 10

Reverse osmosis Related Abstracts

10 A Concept of Rational Water Management at Local Utilities: The Use of RO for Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment/Reuse

Authors: N. Matveev, A. Pervov


Local utilities often face problems of local industrial wastes, storm water disposal due to existing strict regulations. For many local industries, the problem of wastewater treatment and discharge into surface reservoirs can’t be solved through the use of conventional biological treatment techniques. Current discharge standards require very strict removal of a number of impurities such as ammonia, nitrates, phosphate, etc. To reach this level of removal, expensive reagents and sorbents are used. The modern concept of rational water resources management requires the development of new efficient techniques that provide wastewater treatment and reuse. As RO membranes simultaneously reject all dissolved impurities such as BOD, TDS, ammonia, phosphates etc., they become very attractive for the direct treatment of wastewater without biological stage. To treat wastewater, specially designed membrane "open channel" modules are used that do not possess "dead areas" that cause fouling or require pretreatment. A solution to RO concentrate disposal problem is presented that consists of reducing of initial wastewater volume by 100 times. Concentrate is withdrawn from membrane unit as sludge moisture. The efficient use of membrane RO techniques is connected with a salt balance in water system. Thus, to provide high ecological efficiency of developed techniques, all components of water supply and wastewater discharge systems should be accounted for.

Keywords: Reverse osmosis, stormwater treatment, Wastewater Reuse, open-channel module

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9 Design of a Small Mobile PV Driven RO Water Desalination Plant to be Deployed at the North West Coast of Egypt

Authors: Hosam A. Shawky, Amr A. Abdel Fatah, Moustafa M. S. Abo ElFad, Abdel Hameed M. El-Aassar


Water desalination projects based on reverse osmosis technology are being introduced in Egypt to combat drinking water shortage in remote areas. Reverse osmosis (RO) desalination is a pressure driven process. This paper focuses on the design of an integrated brackish water and seawater RO desalination and solar Photovoltaic (PV) technology. A small Mobile PV driven RO desalination plant prototype without batteries is designed and tested. Solar-driven reverse osmosis desalination can potentially break the dependence of conventional desalination on fossil fuels, reduce operational costs, and improve environmental sustainability. Moreover, the innovative features incorporated in the newly designed PV-RO plant prototype are focusing on improving the cost effectiveness of producing drinkable water in remote areas. This is achieved by maximizing energy yield through an integrated automatic single axis PV tracking system with programmed tilting angle adjustment. An autonomous cleaning system for PV modules is adopted for maximizing energy generation efficiency. RO plant components are selected so as to produce 4-5 m3/day of potable water. A basic criterion in the design of this PV-RO prototype is to produce a minimum amount of fresh water by running the plant during peak sun hours. Mobility of the system will provide potable water to isolated villages and population as well as ability to provide good drinking water to different number of people from any source that is not drinkable.

Keywords: Energy, Design, Desalination, Reverse osmosis, Photovoltaic, Egypt

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8 Feasibility of Small Autonomous Solar-Powered Water Desalination Units for Arid Regions

Authors: Mohamed Ahmed M. Azab


The shortage of fresh water is a major problem in several areas of the world such as arid regions and coastal zones in several countries of Arabian Gulf. Fortunately, arid regions are exposed to high levels of solar irradiation most the year, which makes the utilization of solar energy a promising solution to such problem with zero harmful emission (Green System). The main objective of this work is to conduct a feasibility study of utilizing small autonomous water desalination units powered by photovoltaic modules as a green renewable energy resource to be employed in different isolated zones as a source of drinking water for some scattered societies where the installation of huge desalination stations are discarded owing to the unavailability of electric grid. Yanbu City is chosen as a case study where the Renewable Energy Center exists and equipped with all sensors to assess the availability of solar energy all over the year. The study included two types of available water: the first type is brackish well water and the second type is seawater of coastal regions. In the case of well water, two versions of desalination units are involved in the study: the first version is based on day operation only. While the second version takes into consideration night operation also, which requires energy storage system as batteries to provide the necessary electric power at night. According to the feasibility study results, it is found that utilization of small autonomous desalinations unit is applicable and economically accepted in the case of brackish well water. While in the case of seawater the capital costs are extremely high and the cost of desalinated water will not be economically feasible unless governmental subsidies are provided. In addition, the study indicated that, for the same water production, the utilization of energy storage version (day-night) adds additional capital cost for batteries, and extra running cost for their replacement, which makes the unit price not only incompetent with day-only unit but also with conventional units powered by diesel generator (fossil fuel) owing to the low prices of fuel in the kingdom. However, the cost analysis shows that the price of the produced water per cubic meter of day-night unit is similar to that produced from the day-only unit provided that the day-night unit operates theoretically for a longer period of 50%.

Keywords: Solar energy, Reverse osmosis, Water desalination, arid regions

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7 UF as Pretreatment of RO for Tertiary Treatment of Biologically Treated Distillery Spentwash

Authors: Pinki Sharma, Himanshu Joshi


Distillery spentwash contains high chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD), color, total dissolved solids (TDS) and other contaminants even after biological treatment. The effluent can’t be discharged as such in the surface water bodies or land without further treatment. Reverse osmosis (RO) treatment plants have been installed in many of the distilleries at tertiary level. But at most of the places these plants are not properly working due to high concentration of organic matter and other contaminants in biologically treated spentwash. To make the membrane treatment proven and reliable technology, proper pre-treatment is mandatory. In the present study, ultra-filtration (UF) as pre-treatment of RO at tertiary stage was performed. Operating parameters namely initial pH (pHo: 2–10), trans-membrane pressure (TMP: 4-20 bars) and temperature (T: 15- 43°C) used for conducting experiments with UF system. Experiments were optimized at different operating parameters in terms of COD, color, TDS and TOC removal by using response surface methodology (RSM) with central composite design. The results showed that removal of COD, color and TDS by 62%, 93.5% and 75.5%, with UF, respectively at optimized conditions with increased permeate flux from 17.5 l/m2/h (RO) to 38 l/m2/h (UF-RO). The performance of the RO system was greatly improved both in term of pollutant removal as well as water recovery.

Keywords: Reverse osmosis, response surface methodology, bio-digested distillery spentwash, ultra-filtration

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6 Control of Biofilm Formation and Inorganic Particle Accumulation on Reverse Osmosis Membrane by Hypochlorite Washing

Authors: Masaki Ohno, Satoshi Nakai, Wataru Nishijima, Cervinia Manalo, Tetsuji Okuda


Reverse osmosis (RO) membranes have been widely used for desalination to purify water for drinking and other purposes. Although at present most RO membranes have no resistance to chlorine, chlorine-resistant membranes are being developed. Therefore, direct chlorine treatment or chlorine washing will be an option in preventing biofouling on chlorine-resistant membranes. Furthermore, if particle accumulation control is possible by using chlorine washing, expensive pretreatment for particle removal can be removed or simplified. The objective of this study was to determine the effective hypochlorite washing condition required for controlling biofilm formation and inorganic particle accumulation on RO membrane in a continuous flow channel with RO membrane and spacer. In this study, direct chlorine washing was done by soaking fouled RO membranes in hypochlorite solution and fluorescence intensity was used to quantify biofilm on the membrane surface. After 48 h of soaking the membranes in high fouling potential waters, the fluorescence intensity decreased to 0 from 470 using the following washing conditions: 10 mg/L chlorine concentration, 2 times/d washing interval, and 30 min washing time. The chlorine concentration required to control biofilm formation decreased as the chlorine concentration (0.5–10 mg/L), the washing interval (1–4 times/d), or the washing time (1–30 min) increased. For the sample solutions used in the study, 10 mg/L chlorine concentration with 2 times/d interval, and 5 min washing time was required for biofilm control. The optimum chlorine washing conditions obtained from soaking experiments proved to be applicable also in controlling biofilm formation in continuous flow experiments. Moreover, chlorine washing employed in controlling biofilm with suspended particles resulted in lower amounts of organic (0.03 mg/cm2) and inorganic (0.14 mg/cm2) deposits on the membrane than that for sample water without chlorine washing (0.14 mg/cm2 and 0.33 mg/cm2, respectively). The amount of biofilm formed was 79% controlled by continuous washing with 10 mg/L of free chlorine concentration, and the inorganic accumulation amount decreased by 58% to levels similar to that of pure water with kaolin (0.17 mg/cm2) as feed water. These results confirmed the acceleration of particle accumulation due to biofilm formation, and that the inhibition of biofilm growth can almost completely reduce further particle accumulation. In addition, effective hypochlorite washing condition which can control both biofilm formation and particle accumulation could be achieved.

Keywords: Reverse osmosis, washing condition optimization, hypochlorous acid, biofouling control

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5 Development and Implementation of a Business Technology Program Based on Techniques for Reusing Water in a Colombian Company

Authors: Miguel A. Jimenez Barros, Elyn L. Solano Charris, Luis E. Ramirez, Lauren Castro Bolano, Carlos Torres Barreto, Juliana Morales Cubillo


This project sought to mitigate the high levels of water consumption in industrial processes in accordance with the water-rationing plan promoted at national and international level due to the water consumption projections published by the United Nations. Water consumption has three main uses, municipal (common use), agricultural and industrial where the latter consumes a minimum percentage (around 20% of the total consumption). Awareness on world water scarcity, a Colombian company responsible for generation of massive consumption products, decided to implement politics and techniques for water treatment, recycling, and reuse. The project consisted in a business technology program that permits a better use of wastewater caused by production operations. This approach reduces the potable water consumption, generates better conditions of water in the sewage dumps, generates a positive environmental impact for the region, and is a reference model in national and international levels. In order to achieve the objective, a process flow diagram was used in order to define the industrial processes that required potable water. This strategy allowed the industry to determine a water reuse plan at the operational level without affecting the requirements associated with the manufacturing process and even more, to support the activities developed in administrative buildings. Afterwards, the company made an evaluation and selection of the chemical and biological processes required for water reuse, in compliance with the Colombian Law. The implementation of the business technology program optimized the water use and recirculation rate up to 70%, accomplishing an important reduction of the regional environmental impact.

Keywords: Water Treatment, Reverse osmosis, Potable water, bio-reactor

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4 Reverse Osmosis Application on Sewage Tertiary Treatment

Authors: Alexandre Giacobbo, Andrea M. Bernardes, Marco A. S. Rodrigues, Elisa K. Schoenell, Cristiano De Oliveira, Luiz R. H. Dos Santos


Water is an indispensable natural resource, which must be preserved to human activities as well the ecosystems. However, the sewage discharge has been contaminating water resources. Conventional treatment, such as physicochemical treatment followed by biological processes, has not been efficient to the complete degradation of persistent organic compounds, such as medicines and hormones. Therefore, the use of advanced technologies to sewage treatment has become urgent and necessary. The aim of this study was to apply Reverse Osmosis (RO) on sewage tertiary treatment from a Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) in south Brazil. It was collected 200 L of sewage pre-treated by wetland with aquatic macrophytes. The sewage was treated in a RO pilot plant, using a polyamide membrane BW30-4040 model (DOW FILMTEC), with 7.2 m² membrane area. In order to avoid damage to the equipment, this system contains a pleated polyester filter with 5 µm pore size. It was applied 8 bar until achieve 5 times of concentration, obtaining 80% of recovery of permeate, with 10 L.min-1 of concentrate flow rate. Samples of sewage pre-treated on WWTP, permeate and concentrate generated on RO was analyzed for physicochemical parameters and by gas chromatography (GC) to qualitative analysis of organic compounds. The results proved that the sewage treated on WWTP does not comply with the limit of phosphorus and nitrogen of Brazilian legislation. Besides this, it was found many organic compounds in this sewage, such as benzene, which is carcinogenic. Analyzing permeate results, it was verified that the RO as sewage tertiary treatment was efficient to remove of physicochemical parameters, achieving 100% of iron, copper, zinc and phosphorus removal, 98% of color removal, 91% of BOD and 62% of ammoniacal nitrogen. RO was capable of removing organic compounds, however, it was verified the presence of some organic compounds on de RO permeate, showing that RO did not have the capacity of removal all organic compounds of sewage. It has to be considered that permeate showed lower intensity of peaks in chromatogram in comparison to the sewage of WWTP. It is important to note that the concentrate generate on RO needs a treatment before its disposal in environment.

Keywords: Reverse osmosis, Sewage treatment, Organic Compounds, tertiary treatment

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3 Optimization of Water Desalination System Powered by High Concentrated Photovoltaic Panels in Kuwait Climate Conditions

Authors: Adel A. Ghoneim


Desalination using solar energy is an interesting option specifically at regions with abundant solar radiation since such areas normally have scarcity of clean water resources. Desalination is the procedure of eliminating dissolved minerals from seawater or brackish water to generate fresh water. In this work, a simulation program is developed to determine the performance of reverse osmosis (RO) water desalination plant powered by high concentrated photovoltaic (HCPV) panels in Kuwait climate conditions. The objective of such a photovoltaic thermal system is to accomplish a double output, i.e., co-generation of both electricity and fresh water that is applicable for rural regions with high solar irradiation. The suggested plan enables to design an RO plant that does not depend on costly batteries or additional land and significantly reduce the government costs to subsidize the water generation cost. Typical weather conditions for Kuwait is employed as input to the simulation program. The simulation program is utilized to optimize the system efficiency as well as the distillate water production. The areas and slopes of HCPV modules are varied to attain maximum yearly power production. Maximum yearly distillate production and HCPV energy generation are found to correspond to HCPV facing south with tilt of 27° (Kuwait latitude-3°). The power needed to produce 1 l of clean drinking water ranged from 2 to 8 kW h/m³, based on the salinity of the feed water and the system operating conditions. Moreover, adapting HCPV systems achieve an avoided greenhouse gases emission by about 1128 ton CO₂ annually. Present outcomes certainly illustrate environmental advantages of water desalination system powered by high concentrated photovoltaic systems in Kuwait climate conditions.

Keywords: Desalination, Reverse osmosis, Solar Radiation, high concentrated photovoltaic systems

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2 Evaluation of the Performance of ACTIFLO® Clarifier in the Treatment of Mining Wastewaters: Case Study of Costerfield Mining Operations, Victoria, Australia

Authors: Shirley Gato-Trinidad, Seyed Mohsen Samaei


A pre-treatment stage prior to reverse osmosis (RO) is very important to ensure the long-term performance of the RO membranes in any wastewater treatment using RO. This study aims to evaluate the application of the Actiflo® clarifier as part of a pre-treatment unit in mining operations. It involves performing analytical testing on RO feed water before and after installation of Actiflo® unit. Water samples prior to RO plant stage were obtained on different dates from Costerfield mining operations in Victoria, Australia. Tests were conducted in an independent laboratory to determine the concentration of various compounds in RO feed water before and after installation of Actiflo® unit during the entire evaluated period from December 2015 to June 2018. Water quality analysis shows that the quality of RO feed water has remarkably improved since installation of Actiflo® clarifier. Suspended solids (SS) and turbidity removal efficiencies has been improved by 91 and 85 percent respectively in pre-treatment system since the installation of Actiflo®. The Actiflo® clarifier proved to be a valuable part of pre-treatment system prior to RO. It has the potential to conveniently condition the mining wastewater prior to RO unit, and reduce the risk of RO physical failure and irreversible fouling. Consequently, reliable and durable operation of RO unit with minimum requirement for RO membrane replacement is expected with Actiflo® in use.

Keywords: Water Treatment, Reverse osmosis, ACTIFLO ® clarifier, mining wastewater

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1 Mitigating Biofouling on Reverse Osmosis Membranes: Applying Greener Preservatives to Biofilm Treatment

Authors: Anna Curtin, Matthew Thibodeau, Heather Buckley


Water scarcity is characterized by a lack of access to clean and affordable drinking water, as well as water for hygienic and economic needs. The amount of people effected by water scarcity is expected to increase in the coming years due to climate change, population growth, and pollution, amongst other things. In response, scientists are pursuing cost effective drinking water treatment methods, often with a focus on alternative water sources. Desalination of seawater via reverse osmosis is one promising alternative method. Desalination of seawater via reverse osmosis, however, is limited significantly by biofouling of the filtration membrane. Biofouling is the buildup of microorganisms in a biofilm at the water-membrane interface. It clogs the membrane, decreasing the efficiency of filtration, consequently increasing operational and maintenance costs. Although effective, existing chemical treatment methods can damage the membrane, decreasing the lifespan of the membrane; create antibiotic resistance; and cause harm to humans and the environment if they pass through the membrane into the permeate. The current project focuses on applying safer preservatives used in home and personal care products to RO membranes to investigate the biofouling treatment efficacy. Currently, many of these safer preservatives have only been tested on cells in planktonic phase in suspension cultures, not on cells in biofilms. The results of suspension culture tests are not applicable to biofouling scenarios because organisms in planktonic phase in suspension cultures exhibit different morphological, chemical, and metabolic characteristics than those in a biofilm. Testing antifoulant efficacy of safer preservatives on biofilms will provide more applicable results to biofouling on RO membranes. To do this, biofilms will be grown on 96-well-plates and minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC90) and log-reductions will be calculated for various safer preservatives. Results from these tests will be used to guide doses for tests of safer preservatives in a bench-scale RO system.

Keywords: Green Chemistry, Antimicrobial, Reverse osmosis, Biofouling, preservatives, safer alternative

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