The effect of ‘High-pH pretreatment’ on RO concentrate minimization in a groundwater desalination facility using batch air gap membrane distillation

Rioyo, Javier and Aravinthan, Vasantha and Bundschuh, Jochen (2019) The effect of ‘High-pH pretreatment’ on RO concentrate minimization in a groundwater desalination facility using batch air gap membrane distillation. Separation and Purification Technology, 227 (227 - 115699). pp. 1-13. ISSN 1383-5866


This study compared the efficacy of two different scale control strategies: (i) ‘High-pH pretreatment’; and (ii) antiscalant (AS) addition for reverse osmosis (RO) concentrate minimization, in a lab-scale air gap membrane distillation (AGMD) unit. In contrast with previous studies that used a direct contact membrane distillation set-up, we systematically investigated the performance of batch AGMD configuration with and without the preliminary reduction of scale-forming constituents, using high salinity, high alkalinity, high SiO2 and high magnesium hardness RO concentrate. Results indicated that ‘High-pH pretreatment’ by means of the cold lime-soda ash process was more productive than only AS addition to the RO concentrate, resulting in significant salt precipitation when the concentration factor (CF) in the AGMD system increased above 1.3. The High-pH precipitation process provided significant concentration reduction of SiO2 (96%), magnesium (96%) and calcium (86%). Following ‘High-pH pretreatment’, pH re-adjustment and final AS addition, the use of AGMD allowed us to minimize the existing RO concentrate with an initial total dissolved solids (TDS) level of 10.8 g/L by a CF of 3.2. In addition, this chemical demineralization process enabled operation of the AGMD unit at a higher temperature, thus increasing permeate flux.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 36716
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2019 03:50
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2019 04:45
Uncontrolled Keywords: reverse osmosis; inland desalination; brackish groundwater; air gap membrane distillation; concentrate minimization
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0904 Chemical Engineering > 090410 Water Treatment Processes
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960912 Urban and Industrial Water Management
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.seppur.2019.115699

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only