Enhanced membrane pre-treatment processes using macromolecular adsorption and coagulation in desalination plants

A review

Nidal Hilal, Mohammed Al-Abri, Hilal Al-Hinai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent advances in membrane technology have prompted the rapid growth of the Reverse Osmosis (RO) desalination in comparison to other water desalination technologies. One of the major problems of RO is fouling which leads to major reduction in the efficiency of this process. RO membranes are usually fouled with colloids, humic substances, micro-organisms, and heavy metals. This is why it is critical to treat the feed water prior to RO filtration. Conventional pre-treatment methods include processes such as coagulation, adsorption, sedimentation, flotation, sand filtration, disinfection, and the addition of anti-scalants. Recently, membrane pre-treatment processes including micro-filtration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF) and nanofiltration have been introduced prior to RO, with or as a replacement for conventional pre-treatment. These processes are useful in providing feed water superior in quality to conventional pre-treatment, but they are limited in the range of pollutant removal and operating conditions. Full description of water composition and the interactions and aggregations between the contaminants found in feed water for RO desalination is shown in this review. The review includes introduction to membranes, including retention and fouling mechanisms, conventional and membrane pre-treatment, and membrane backwashing. It also highlights the role of coagulation and adsorption in the pre-treatment process and the impact of integration of coagulation and/or adsorption with membrane pre-treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-453
Number of pages51
JournalSeparation Science and Technology
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Fingerprint

Reverse osmosis
Desalination
Coagulation
Membranes
Adsorption
Water
Fouling
Humic Substances
Osmosis membranes
Membrane technology
Nanofiltration
Microfiltration
Disinfection
Colloids
Ultrafiltration
Heavy Metals
Flotation
Sedimentation
Heavy metals
Sand

Keywords

  • Coagulation
  • Desalination
  • Fouling
  • Macromolecular adsorption
  • Membranes
  • Pre-treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Filtration and Separation

Cite this

Enhanced membrane pre-treatment processes using macromolecular adsorption and coagulation in desalination plants : A review. / Hilal, Nidal; Al-Abri, Mohammed; Al-Hinai, Hilal.

In: Separation Science and Technology, Vol. 41, No. 3, 2006, p. 403-453.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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